The Scarlet Letter (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

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Overview

In seventeenth-century Boston, Hester Prynne shoulders the scorn of her fellow Puritan townsfolk for bearing a child out of wedlock. For her refusal to name the father of her daughter Pearl, Hester is made to wear a scarlet "A" stitched conspicuously upon her dress. But though she bears the stigma of the shame her peers would confer upon her, others feel the guilt for her transgression more acutely--notably the pious Reverend Arthur ...
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The Scarlet Letter (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

In seventeenth-century Boston, Hester Prynne shoulders the scorn of her fellow Puritan townsfolk for bearing a child out of wedlock. For her refusal to name the father of her daughter Pearl, Hester is made to wear a scarlet "A" stitched conspicuously upon her dress. But though she bears the stigma of the shame her peers would confer upon her, others feel the guilt for her transgression more acutely--notably the pious Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the confessor with whom Hester and Pearl's destinies are intimately bound up.
 
First published in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's historical study of guilt and sin has since been lauded as the most important work of fiction by its distinguished author, and a landmark of American literature. This exquisite collectible edition features an elegant bonded-leather binding, a satin-ribbon bookmark, distinctive stained edging, and decorative marbled endpapers. It's the perfect gift for book-lovers and an artful addition to any home library.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them," Nathaniel Hawthorne once reflected. Hawthorne's own words indeed had an undeniable power. Author of The Scarlet Letter and originator of the American short story, Hawthorne left an indelible impression on literature that would influence his fellow writers into the next century.

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 mother's family in Salem. Nathaniel's 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." Hawthorne's coterie consisted of transcendentalist thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Although he did not subscribe entirely to the group's 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 Hawthorne's 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

Hawthorne's birth name was actually Nathaniel Hathorne. It's rumored that he added a "w" to avoid being associated with his Puritan grandfather, Judge Hathorne -- who presided over the Salem Witch Trials.

Among Hawthorne's peers at Maine's Bowdoin College: author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who would later become the country's 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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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 4, 1804
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salem, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      May 19, 1864
    2. Place of Death:
      Plymouth, New Hampshire
    1. Education:
      Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2012

    This book may have been printed on endangered and illegally logg

    This book may have been printed on endangered and illegally logged tree fiber from the Indonesian rainforest. This forest is home to the last 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and their habitat is quickly disappearing because of the logging practices of companies like Asia Pulp and Paper. Barnes and Noble publications needs to cut deforestation out of their supply chain by stopping all trade with APP and other forest destroyers!

    5 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Beautiful edition of this book!

    Beautiful edition of this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    an extraordinary classic-I highly reccomend it

    this is an amazing book! it presents hester pyrnne-a young woman struggling with her puriten socioty and it's views of her adulterous actions. Also, it is a story of the revenge of her husband upon the preacher who struggles with the guilt of his actions. all in all, this is a beautifully written classic and I would recommend it to anyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2014

    I love this book, especially the Barnes and Noble leather-bound

    I love this book, especially the Barnes and Noble leather-bound edition! It's a gorgeous book.  This is a fantastic work of fiction.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    First of all, I loved reading The Scarlet Letter. This book was

    First of all, I loved reading The Scarlet Letter. This book was all about a women who committed adultery and had to deal with the consequences of that action. The book starts off describing the prison, and the big heavy wooden doors. It didn't explain anything about a crime that was committed. Then it explained a woman named Hester Prynne who walked out of the jail with a baby girl, Pearl, in her arms and headed toward the scaffold. A scaffold is a raised platform that’s in front of the whole town. There was a large scarlet and gold "A" that was on her chest. Everybody was staring at her, even the children were taunting her. From the "A" on her chest and the harsh words from others, it's obvious that the "A" must mean that she has committed adultery.
    It says that Hester had married a doctor, but he hadn't been to the town yet and no one believed that she was telling the truth. This stranger named Roger Chillingworth comes into town while Hester is on the scaffold. Later we find out that the guy is Hester Prynne's husband, but he changed his name so that no one would know. He becomes the physician of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who was gradually getting very ill. No one could figure out why he was sick, but many people thought that Satan was attacking him. Continuing in the book, we find out the real reason for Dimmesdale being ill. He was the man that had committed adultery with Hester. God was convicting him of his sin, because he didn't own up to what he did. Near the end of the book Hester plans to go on a ship with Dimmesdale to get away from the town. The minister finally goes on the scaffold with Pearl and Hester and admits his crime to the whole town. After that, he told Hester and Pearl goodbye and died.
    One huge theme in The Scarlet Letter is the difference between night and day. The events in the book are organized into things that are socially acceptable and those things that must happen secretly. Daylight exposes a person’s actions and makes them vulnerable to punishment. Night, however, hides activities that might not be accepted during the day. One good example for this is when Dimmesdale, Hester and Pearl all stood on the scaffold together. They would have never been able to do that in the daylight, because then everyone would know what Dimmesdale had done.
    Throughout the book, I got more into the book because I wanted to figure out what would happen next. I really liked that the book was suspenseful. Also, I could really feel how Hester was feeling, and how hard it would be to go through everything that she had too.
    With those things, I would definitely recommend someone to read this! This has changed my views on different topics in a good way. Some other books that I liked are all of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling and the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Good.

    Good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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