Hailed by Henry James as "the finest pieceof imaginative writing yet put forth in thecountry," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The ScarletLetter reaches to our nation'shistorical and moral roots for the material of greattragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novelshows the terrible impact a single, passionate acthas on the lives of three members of thecommunity: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, torturedReverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengefulChillingworth.With The ScarletLetter, Hawthorne became the first Americannovelist to forge from our Puritan heritage auniversal classic, a masterful exploration ofhumanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.
About the Author
Born in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for his historical tales and novels about American colonial society. After publishing The Scarlet Letter in 1850, its status as an instant bestseller allowed him to earn a living as a novelist. Full of dark romanticism, psychological complexity, symbolism, and cautionary tales, his work is still popular today. He has earned a place in history as one of the most distinguished American writers of the nineteenth century.
"[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy." --Malcolm Cowley