The Scarlet Letter: New Riverside Edition / Edition 1by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Paul Lauter, Rita K. Gollin
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/i>… See more details below
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 Athe mark of an adulteressembroidered 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.
Table of ContentsI. Contexts Stories and Notebooks "Mrs. Hutchinson" "The Minister's Black Veil: A Parable" From "Endicott and the Red Cross" From The American Notebooks Letters To George S. Hillard (Mar. 5, 1849) To James T. Fields, (Jan. 15, 1850) To James T. Fields (Jan. 20, 1850) To James T. Fields (undated draft) To Horatio Bridge (Feb. 4, 1850) Historical Background Charles Ryskamp, "The New England Sources of The Scarlet Letter" Larry J. Reynolds, "The Scarlet Letter and Revolutions Abroad" Michael Winship, "Publishing The Scarlet Letter in the Nineteenth-Century United States" II. The Scarlet Letter "Preface to the Second Edition" "The Custom-House: Introductory to The Scarlet Letter" The Scarlet Letter III. Criticism Early Criticism Evert A. Duyckinck, "[A Psychological Romance]" Edwin Percy Whipple, "[A True Artist's Certainty of Touch and Expression]" Anne Abbott, "[The Magic Power of Hawthorne's Style]" Orestes Brownson, "[An Unfit Subject for Literature]" Later Criticism Henry James, "[Out of the Very Heart of New England]" F.O. Matthiessen, "[Integrity of Effect]" Charles Feidelson, Jr., "[Actively Seizing Upon History]" Frederick C. Crews, "The Ruined Wall" Hyatt H. Waggoner, "Dark Light on the Letter" Rita K. Gollin, "The Romances" Nina Baym, "The Major Phase I: 1850" Richard H. Brodhead, "New and Old Tales: The Scarlet Letter" Gloria C. Erlich, "The Access of Power" Sacvan Bercovitch, "[How Culture Empowers Symbolic Form]" Richard H. Millington, "Romance as Revision: The Scarlet Letter " Walter Herbert, "Domesticity as Redemption" Chronology Works Cited For Further Reading
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