The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne (Paperback)

Product Details

1 Jan 2003
Supply Source
South Africa


Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nina Baym
Nina Baym (Introduction by)
Thomas Connolly (Contributor)
Thomas E. Connolly
Penguin Group USA
Number of Pages
197 x 133 x 19mm (204g)


A young woman, publicly scorned for bearing an illegitimate child, refuses to be vanquished by the seventeenth-century Boston community.


  • A dramatic, moving depiction of social defiance and social deference, of passion and human frailty

    Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne's concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale stands as a classic study of a seld divided; trapped by the rules of society, he suppresses his passion and disavows his lover, Hester, and their daughter, Pearl. As Nina Baym writes in her Introduction, The Scarlet Letter was not written as realistic, historical fiction, but as a "romance," a creation of the imagination that discloses the truth of the human heart.

    For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Fiction / Literary
BISAC Subject 2
Fiction / Classics
BIC Classification 1
Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
Library Subject 1
Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Fiction.
Library Subject 2
Illegitimate children; Fiction.
Library Subject 3
Women immigrants; Fiction.
Academic Subject 1
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
Dewey Classification

Author Bio

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, where he wrote the bulk of his masterful tales of American colonial history. His career as a novelist began with The Scarlet Letter (1850) and also includes The house of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun. Nina Baym is Director of the School of Humanities and Professor of English at the University of Illinois. She has published widely on Hawthorne and other American writers.

Review Quotes

"[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy." --Malcolm Cowley