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The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel…
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The Blithedale Romance (1852)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book and found that The Blithedale Romance was full of mystery and intriguing characters.The book was based upon Hawthorne's experiences at Brook Farm, a short-lived utopian community. It's not a work of social criticism but it does touch on women's suffrage, prison reform, spiritualism and other economic, political and cultural issues of the time. The beginning of the book is a little slow but the end chapters are full of drama and tragedy as the friends turn to foes. I highly recommend the Blithedale Romance especially if you like character-driven tragedies. ( )
  eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
The Blithedale Romance Nathaniel Hawthorne
★★★

The narrator Miles Coverdale tells us about a summer in his past when he and some fellow writers, poets and friends decide to escape from the negative influence of life in town and to set up their own farm in the country.

Blithedale as the farm is called is supposed to be a place where men and women are equal, where everyone works the land to produce the food they will eat and where peace and harmony reign, however these ideals do not stand up to the test of time.

Cant really say much more without giving away important facts about the story.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Before 200 channels of TV, radio, computers, and journalism, writers could write the way Hawthorne wrote. Readers had the patience to make their way through sentences so dense that you could chew them, description so vivid you could taste them. This is not to say that there hasn't been quantities of fine writing since the electronic age, but there sure hasn't been another Hawthorne or James, his literary heir. Some readers may be glad of that. Not me. I love the richness of 19th century prose. When I sit down with Melville, James, Trollope, G. Eliot or Hawthorne, I know I am going to be quite pleasurably lost in a sea of words.

The Blithedale Romance to some extent follows the pattern of The Scarlet Letter and The Marble Faun; strong independent woman with a secret in her past and a shadowy maleficent man from whose hold she cannot break free. However, this novel of the founding of a Utopian community takes several new paths both in tone and narrative. As with all of Hawthorne's work there is a mysterious aspect to the narrative and the relationships of the characters, but in Blithedale the sense of other-worldliness is immediate and lasting. Another difference is that despite the tragic nature of the tale, the tone is more buoyant than in any other work that I have read by him. And, also not typical, with the use of the cynical Miles Coverdale who is willing to laugh at his own play at idealism as narrator, the book is often very funny. Thematically there is a great deal to chew on with the most important or interesting themes being, I suppose, the question of whether or not we can really better mankind as a whole and the paradox of the philanthropist, a man or woman who begins with a genuine concern for their cause but in the end becomes dehumanized by it.

Fanciful, funny, rich in sympathy, sobering and thought provoking... The Blithedale Romance deserves a wider readership than it has had. It is in not the great work that The Scarlet Letter is, but is very wise in its own way, a great tale, and probably more fun. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Before 200 channels of TV, radio, computers, and journalism, writers could write the way Hawthorne wrote. Readers had the patience to make their way through sentences so dense that you could chew them, description so vivid you could taste them. This is not to say that there hasn't been quantities of fine writing since the electronic age, but there sure hasn't been another Hawthorne or James, his literary heir. Some readers may be glad of that. Not me. I love the richness of 19th century prose. When I sit down with Melville, James, Trollope, G. Eliot or Hawthorne, I know I am going to be quite pleasurably lost in a sea of words.

The Blithedale Romance to some extent follows the pattern of The Scarlet Letter and The Marble Faun; strong independent woman with a secret in her past and a shadowy maleficent man from whose hold she cannot break free. However, this novel of the founding of a Utopian community takes several new paths both in tone and narrative. As with all of Hawthorne's work there is a mysterious aspect to the narrative and the relationships of the characters, but in Blithedale the sense of other-worldliness is immediate and lasting. Another difference is that despite the tragic nature of the tale, the tone is more buoyant than in any other work that I have read by him. And, also not typical, with the use of the cynical Miles Coverdale who is willing to laugh at his own play at idealism as narrator, the book is often very funny. Thematically there is a great deal to chew on with the most important or interesting themes being, I suppose, the question of whether or not we can really better mankind as a whole and the paradox of the philanthropist, a man or woman who begins with a genuine concern for their cause but in the end becomes dehumanized by it.

Fanciful, funny, rich in sympathy, sobering and thought provoking... The Blithedale Romance deserves a wider readership than it has had. It is in not the great work that The Scarlet Letter is, but is very wise in its own way, a great tale, and probably more fun. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Interesting....
These intellectuals found that theory doesn't always work out in practice. An increase of work lead to decreased intellectual growth and stimulation, and they couldn't handle it. If you can't sit around and discuss ideals, are they really in utopia at all?
( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nathaniel Hawthorneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kolodny, AnnetteIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The evening before my departure for Blithedale, I was returning to my bachelor-apartments, after attending the wonderful exhibition of the Veiled Lady, when an elderly-man of rather shabby appearance met me in an obscure part of the street.
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Book description
Novel about utopian community in nineteenth century Massachusetts, inspired by George Ripley's Brook Farm community
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140390286, Paperback)

Renowned 19th-century author Nathaniel Hawthorne writes fully in his own time, not haunting his characters with the American past as in his more famous works THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES and THE SCARLET LETTER. Published in 1852, THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE remains a captivating work about politics, love, the supernatural, and idealism, written with Hawthorne's sharp wit and deep intelligence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:12 -0400)

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A depiction of a utopian community that can not survive the individual passions of its members.

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