The Scarlet Letter, with eBook

The Scarlet Letter, with eBook

Audiobook(MP3 on CD - MP3 - Unabridged CD)

$22.99
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, June 27

Overview

It is 1642 in the Puritan town of Boston. Hester Prynne has been found guilty of adultery and has borne an illegitimate child. In lieu of being put to death, she is condemned to wear the scarlet letter A on her dress as a reminder of her shameful act.

Hester's husband had been lost at sea years earlier and was presumed dead, but he reappears in time to witness Hester's humiliation on the town scaffold. Upon discovering her deed, the vengeful husband becomes obsessed with finding the identity of the man who dishonored his wife. To do so he assumes a false name, pretends to be a physician, and forces Hester to keep his new identity secret. Meanwhile, Hester's lover, the beloved Reverend Dimmesdale, publicly pressures her to name the child's father while secretly praying that she will not. Hester defiantly protects his identity and reputation, even when faced with losing her daughter, Pearl.

Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a masterful portrayal of humanity's continuing struggle with sin, guilt, and pride.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400158553
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was an American author who is perhaps best known for The Scarlet Letter and the short-story collection Twice-Told Tales.

Shelly Frasier has recorded over fifty audiobooks. She can be heard narrating such classics as Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Date of Birth:

July 4, 1804

Date of Death:

May 19, 1864

Place of Birth:

Salem, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Plymouth, New Hampshire

Education:

Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824

Read an Excerpt

Scarlet Letter, The

1

The Prison Door

A THRONG OF BEARDED MEN, IN SAD-COLORED GARMENTS and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak and studded with iron spikes.

The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. In accordance with this rule, it may safely be assumed that the forefathers of Boston had built the first prison house somewhere in the vicinity of Cornhill almost as seasonably as they marked out the first burial ground, on Isaac Johnson's lot and round about his grave, which subsequently became the nucleus of all the congregated sepulchres in the old churchyard of King's Chapel. Certain it is that,some fifteen or twenty years after the settlement of the town, the wooden jail was already marked with weather-stains and other indications of age which gave a yet darker aspect to its beetle-browed and gloomy front. The rust on the ponderous iron-work of its oaken door looked more antique than anything else in the New World. Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison. But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rosebush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him.

This rosebush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally overshadowed it—or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson, as she entered the prison door—we shall not take upon us to determine. Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers, and present it to the reader. It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.

All new material in this edition is copyright © 1989 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Table of Contents


Why read The Scarlet Letter?     8
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804-1864     10
Timeline of the novel     12
The Custom-House     15
Hawthorne's Customs House     50
The Scarlet Letter     53
The Prison-Door     53
The Market-Place     55
Early Boston     64
The Recognition     66
The Interview     74
Medicine     80
Hester at Her Needle     82
Pearl     91
The Governor's Hall     100
The Elf-Child and the Minister     107
The Leech     115
Puritan religion     124
The Leech and His Patient     126
The Interior of a Heart     135
The Minister's Vigil     141
Another View of Hester     152
Puritan women     158
Hester and the Physician     160
Hester and Pearl     166
Crime and punishment     172
A Forest Walk     174
The Pastor and His Parishioner     180
A Flood of Sunshine     188
The Child at the Brook-Side     194
Witchcraft     200
TheMinister in a Maze     202
The New England Holiday     212
Transcendentalism     220
The Procession     222
The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter     232
Conclusion     240
Glossary     246
Discussion questions     268
Further reading     270
Acknowledgments     271

What People are Saying About This

Henry James

It is beautiful, admirable, extraordinary; it has in the highest degree that merit which I have spoken of as the mark of Hawthorne's best things--an indefinable purity and lightness of conception...One can often return to it; it supports familiarity and has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art.

Reading Group Guide

Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece  of imaginative writing yet put forth in the  country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet  Letter reaches to our nation's  historical and moral roots for the material of great  tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel  shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act  has on the lives of three members of the  community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured  Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful  Chillingworth.

With The Scarlet  Letter, Hawthorne became the first American  novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a  universal classic, a masterful exploration of  humanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.


From the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews