The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - PDF free download eBook

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Overview

When it first appeared in 1850, The Scarlet Letter enjoyed scandalous success. New England critics condemned its passionate subject matter. One critic complained that Nathaniel Hawthorne invested adultery with all the fascination of genius, and all t...

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Details of The Scarlet Letter

ISBN
9781497672130
Publisher
Open Road Media
Publication date
Age range
18+ Years
Book language
GB
Pages
206
Format
PDF, DOC, FB2, FB3
Quality
Normal quality scanned pages

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Some brief overview of this book

When it first appeared in 1850, The Scarlet Letter enjoyed scandalous success. New England critics condemned its passionate subject matter. One critic complained that Nathaniel Hawthorne invested adultery with all the fascination of genius, and all the charms of a highly polished style. My preliminary chapter, wryly noted the author, has caused the greatest uproar that has happened here since witch-times.As she emerges from the prison of a Puritan New England town, Hester Prynne defies the dark gloom much as the rose blooms against the prison door. With her illegitimate baby, Pearl, clutched in her arms and the letter A—the mark of an adulteress—embroidered in scarlet thread on her breast, Hester holds her head high as she faces the malice and scorn of the townsfolk. Her powerful, bittersweet story is an American classic that continues to touch the hearts of modern readers with its timeless themes of guilt, passion and repentance.

In early colonial Massachusetts, a young woman endures the consequences of her sin of adultery and spends the rest of her life in atonement.

A few words about book's author

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1825 he graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and returned to Salem determined to become a writer. He joined Brook Farm, a utopian experiment in communal living, before marrying in 1842. His writing had already secured some success with his Twice-Told Tales, but it was the publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 that brought him immediate recognition, followed a year later by by The House of the Seven Gables. He died on a trip in New Hampshire in 1864.

Biography

Nathaniel Hathorne, Jr., was born into an established New England puritan family on Independence Day, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. After the sudden death of his father, he and his mother and sisters moved in with his mothers family in Salem. Nathaniels early education was informal; he was home-schooled by tutors until he enrolled in Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Uninterested in conventional professions such as law, medicine, or the ministry, Nathaniel chose instead to rely for support upon my pen. After graduation, he returned to his hometown, wrote short stories and sketches, and chanced the spelling of his surname to Hawthorne. Hawthornes coterie consisted of transcendentalist thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Although he did not subscribe entirely to the groups philosophy, he lived for six months at Brook Farm, a cooperative living community the transcendentalists established in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. On July 9, 1942, Hawthorne married a follower of Emerson, Sophia Peabody, with whom he had a daughter, Una, and a son, Julian. The couple purchased a mansion in Concord, Massachusetts, that previously had been occupied by author Louisa May Alcott. Frequently in financial difficulty, Hawthorne worked at the custom houses in Salem and Boston to support his family and his writing. His peaceful life was interrupted when his college friend, Franklin Pierce, now president of the United States, appointed him U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, where he served for four years. The publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 changed the way society viewed Puritanism. Considered his masterpiece, the novel focuses on Hawthornes recurrent themes of sin, guilt, and punishment. Some critics have attributed his sense of guilt to his ancestors connection with the persecution of Quakers in seventeenth-century New England and their prominent role in the Salem witchcraft trials in the 1690s. On May 19, 1864, Hawthorne died in Plymouth, New Hampshire, leaving behind several unfinished novels that were published posthumously. He is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Scarlet Letter.

Good To Know

Hawthornes birth name was actually Nathaniel Hathorne. Its rumored that he added a w to avoid being associated with his Puritan grandfather, Judge Hathorne — who presided over the Salem Witch Trials. Among Hawthornes peers at Maines Bowdoin College: author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who would later become the countrys 14th president. In its first week of publication, The Scarlet Letter sold 4,000 copies. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, at the Pemigewasset House in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Ironically, former president Franklin Pierce had advised him to go there for his health.

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