The Blithedale Romance, considered one of Hawthorne's major novels, explores the limitations of human nature set against an experiment in communal living. From mesmerism to illicit love, The Blithedale Romance represents one of Hawthorne's best and most sharply etched works, one that Henry James called his "brightest" and "liveliest" novel, and that Roy Male, acclaimed Americanist scholar, said is "one of the most underrated works in American fiction."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition is set from the definitive Ohio State University Press Centenary edition of the novel.
About the Author
Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) is one of America's greatest writers. His classic novels include The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, both in the dark romanticism genre, with moral messages and a Puritan influence. He also wrote short stories and non-fiction. Hawthorne, who spent significant parts of his life in The Berkshires and Concord, Massachusetts, was born with the surname Hathorne. He added the "w" to distance himself from his great-great-grandfather John Hathorne, the unrepentant Salem magistrate and chief interrogator of the accused witches during the Salem witch hysteria of 1692.
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker, and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.
"Hawthorne, in putting this novel together, was engaged in the most serious literary enterprise of his career."