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The Scarlet Letter (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992

4.1 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Reprint edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260292
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Anyone interested in how novels refract history will be enriched by the Broadview edition of The Scarlet Letter. The valuable introduction and extensive archival material will give readers a great foundation for using Hawthorne's historicist methodology as a model for discussing the complexities of history and storytelling not only for Hawthorne but for contemporary readers as well. --Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago

John Stephen Martin's meticulously prepared edition of The Scarlet Letter offers both students and general readers the most comprehensive introduction to Hawthorne's life and work currently available in one volume. With its historical contextualization, enormously helpful annotations, and judicious assessment of Hawthorne's greatest work, it establishes itself as the single best guide to this great American masterpiece. --Joel Porte, Cornell University

About the Author

The American novelist and short-story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. Hawthorne grew up in seclusion with his widowed mother, his father, a sea captain, having died of yellow fever in 1808. Between 1821 and 1824 Hawthorne was educated at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he befriended Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who became the fourteenth president of the United States.

After graduating in 1825 he returned to Salem and worked as a writer, producing short stories and various contributions to periodicals. His first novel, Fanshawe, based on his life at college, was not well received. However, it did lead to Hawthorne's long and productive friendship with the publisher Samuel Goodrich. He returned to writing short fiction, much of which was published in Goodrich's journal. In 1839 he accepted the post of surveyor of the Boston Custom House and during this time became involved with the Boston literary circle. This eventually led him to quit his job at the custom house and invest in a communal experiment at Brook Farm with some well known Transcendentalists. It was at this time that he married Sophia Peabody, also a Transcendentalist. He became disenchanted with community life, and in 1842 he and his wife moved into the former house of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it was here that Hawthorne returned to serious writing.

At the age of 45 he finally published his most important work, The Scarlet Letter, which won immediate critical acclaim. It was quickly followed, by The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and The Blithedale Romance (1852), which was based on his experience at Brook Farm. In 1853 Franklin Pierce became President and Hawthorne was appointed United States Consul in Liverpool, England. He remained in England for four years then moved to Italy for two years. His final complete novel, The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni (1860) was published on his return to America. Hawthorne died on 19 May, 1864 whilst on a trip to the mountains with his old friend Franklin Pierce. His novel, The Dolliver Romance was unfinished at the time of Hawthorne s death.



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