The Scarlet Letter Author:Nathaniel Hawthorne An ardent young woman, her cowardly lover and her aging, vengeful husband-these are the central characters in this stark drama of the conflict between passion and convention in the harsh, Puritan world of seventeenth-century Boston. Trememndously moving, rich in psychological insight, this tragic novel of shame and redemption reveals Hawthorne's... more » concern with the New England past and its influence on American attitudes. From his dramatic illumination of the struggles between mind and heart, dogma and self-reliance, he fashioned one of the masterpieces of fiction. "The one American literary work which comes as near to perfection as is granted to a man to bring his achievements."-Arnold Bennett.