A must-read for those interested in New England of the past.
Might be on your college or high school reading list! It was on mine, so I was "forced" to read it, but enjoyed it none-the-less.
The Scarlet Letter is the story of three New England settlers at odds with the puritan society in which they live. Roger Chillingworth, an aging scholar, arrives in New England after two years' separation from his wife Hester to find her on trial for adultery. For refusing to reveal her lover's identity, she is condemned to wear a letter 'A' sewn onto her clothes. Roger resolves to discover and destroy the man who has stolen his honor.
For the next seven years the participants in this bizarre love triangle privately suffer the consequences of betrayal, cowardice, and humiliation. Slowly but surely, the need for redemption grows in each as the story hastens toward its dramatic close. The Scarlet Letter is Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece.
The handsome volumes in The Collectors Library present great works of world literature in a handy hardback format. Printed on high-quality paper and bound in real cloth, each complete and unabridged volume has a specially commissioned afterword, brief biography of the author and a further-reading list. This easily accessible series offers readers the perfect opportunity to discover, or rediscover, some of the world's most endearing literary works.
Classic American fiction based in 17th century Puritan community in New England. This edition has a foreward by Leo Marx, signet classic binding. First read this in high school, very crisp and readable compared to other "classics", language is fairly modern. Try this again if you haven't read it recently!
A wonderful classic by Nathaniel Hawthorne! Great for students.
Published by Dell Paperbacks, 1950.
Well written account of life at the time, although occasionally long-winded. Good character development.
I read this in high school. It is a great character and color meaning study.
I recently listened to this as an unabridged audio book hoping that that would make this classic easier to stomache. It Didn't.
This author's prose is so complex and convoluted that having to listen to it means REALLY having to listen. I'm now convinced that the print version would have been more appropriate. Not only is it easier in print to mark one's place and set the work aside but it would be satisfying to throw this tome against the wall a time or two.
The story has some redeeming aspects (it's probably one of America's earliest psychological thrillers) but the language is so dated (Thitherto?) that it's a chore to get through this and the poor reader of this audio version did an OK job but would ocassionally lose the meaning of the sub sub sub clauses.
Any high school or middle school English teacher that still assigns this as required should be brought up on charges of crimes against humanity. It would drive any reluctant reader to not only swear off reading altogether but might drive some to the Oedipal lengths of gouging one's eyes out with broaches.
As I listened to this and gazed at one of the Harry Potter novels on my shelf it occured to me... Why give Harry Potter a blood letting quill... just have him transcribe this swill!"
Though the setting is antique this was released only one year before Moby Dick and yet it reads as awkwardly as if it were written a century or two before.
I've heard it said that one of the main reasons that Franklin Pierce got elected President was that he was good buddies with Hawthorne and Hawthorne actually wrote his biography. If was anything like the prose here, one wonders "how could that have helped?"
Finally Hawthorne provides the best words to critique his work when he describes the book that sent poor Dimsdale to dreamland in one of the books crucial scenes... "A Work of vast ability in the somniferous school of literature."
Pretty much wrote his own review there...
It's been ages since I read this, but it's definitely a classic. This story is a wonderful view into a time when, much like today, religion was a fierce weapon. Nathaniel Hawthorne was clearly a master of not only storytelling, but the basic human psychology, and this tale is among his finest.
One of my favorite books of all time. I posted it due to the small size of the book- it fits in a pocket book and is the size of a wallet so you can read anywhere...
"The Scarlet Letter" is written in puritan plain style and has virtually no dialogue for you to enjoy...
Finished reading this with my daughter as part of a school assignment. All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't have to read this in high school! The book was written in 1850, around the same time as Moby Dick (another classic I have put off reading). I guess Scarlet Letter does have a message -- be true to yourself and strive to be individualistic. And it does delve into the morals (or lack thereof)in Puritanical Society, but trudging through the tortuous journey was really a struggle for both me and my daughter. The language used in the book may well have been common language in 1850, but trying to decipher it in 2012 was a chore to say the least. Seems like Hawthorne would go on for paragraphs trying to describe a scene or say something meaningful but would usually leave us saying, "huh?" I know this is a classic but I would only recommend it slightly.
Reader's Digest edition with beautiful binding, ribbon placemarker, beautiful patterned endpapers.
From the jacket:
The Scarlet Letter is Nathaniel Hawthornes most famous and highly praised novel. Set in the severe Puritan community of 17th century Boston, it is a deeply moving novel, rich in psychological insight and human truths. Its main character, Hester Prynne, is Hawthorne's greatest creation. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, she draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction.
The classic story of Hester Prynne's punishment for adultery by her Puritan judges. Set in New England of the seventeenth century.
Personally, I thought Hawthorne's stories in "Twice Told Tales" were much better than this. The characters's suffering seemed to overt and not at all subtle.
Popular Classics Library hardcover editon of this great classic by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The summary of the book shown at the top of this page is about another book. Puritans and adultery are the topics of this book, and the primary character is a woman, not a 15 year old boy!
The symbolism struck me quite strongly while reading. Nice story.
This is a wonderful narrative of this classic piece of literature. I would highly recommend this set to any library.
A terrific book exposing one of man's failures and how it effects those around them.
This book was the bane of my existence in 10th grade. I read it again a few years after seeing and loving the PBS miniseries with Meg Foster and John Heard. I found that I really enjoyed it once I read it at my own leisure and skipped over that boring Custom House introduction.
This is a wonderful book full of judgement, love, hate, all the raw human emotions. You will thoroughly enjoy it. I did !
The Scarlet Letter
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 convetion in the harsh, Puritan world of seventeenth-century Boston. Tremendously moving, rich in psychological insight, this tragic novel of shame and redemption reveals Hawthorne's 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 a man to bring his achievements." - Arnold Bennett
With a Foreword by Leo Marx
Published by the New American Library
A signet classic