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Vintage Past: Inventive tales of times gone by to tell the histories we think we know

Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbours she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product of an illicit affair but no one knows the identity of Pearl's father. Hester's refusal to name him brings more condemnation upon her. But she stands strong in the face of public scorn, even when she is forced to wear the sign of her shame sewn onto her clothes: the scarlet letter 'A' for 'Adulteress'

Reviews

An extraordinary work of the imagination that burns from page to page with the fierce simplicity of scripture and an almost cinematic clarity of vision. The Scarlet Letter is an astounding book full of intense symbolism, as strange and haunting as anything by Edgar Allan Poe

Guardian

Something might at last be sent to Europe as exquisite in quality as anything that had been received

Henry James

No facile answers are provided here. Hester is, after all, guilty; Pearl the "Elfin" child, has devilish traits; the Puritans are given their due. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are villains because of their hypocrisy but remain sympathetic because they are both self-destructive...

Independent

A defiant adulteress; a community of hypocrites who force her to wear a scarlet letter A around her neck as a badge of her shame; an evil husband, secretly stoking the fires of their moral fervour until it reaches boiling point; and, finally, a stunning public confession in which the woman reveals the identity of her lover, who is then promptly sent to the gallows

Sunday Times

In making fiction out of the excesses of his Puritan ancestors, Hawthorne anticipated the technique of a modern movie-director. He was a master of crowd scenes

Financial Times

[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy

Malcolm Cowley

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784871420

    November 28, 2016

    Vintage Classics

    288 pages

    RRP $16.99

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Also by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Four Classic American Novels
The Scarlet Letter
Hawthorne's Short Stories
The Scarlet Letter (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
20 Days With Julian Little Bunny
Mod Lib Moses From An Old Manse
Mod Lib Twice-Told Tales
Mod Lib Blithedale Romance
The Mod Lib House Of Seven Gables
Mod Lib Scarlet Letter
A Wonder-Book For Boys And Girls
House Of Seven Gables

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