The Originals: The Scarlet Letter - Om Books

"She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, is the tale of Hester Prynne’s ‘shame’ following the birth of a child whose father remains unidentified for the larger part of the narrative. Hester’s defiance in the face of expulsion and repudiation makes her a heroine ahead of her time. Pearl, the illegitimate daughter, Arthur Dimmesdale, the ‘cheating’ Minister of Church, Reverend John Wilson, and the malicious Roger Chillingworth are Hawthorne’s characters whose lives, premised on guilt and pride, take a tumultuous turn as the cataclysmic outcome of an act of passion. The embroidered scarlet ‘A’—that she is required to wear on her dress on the day of her punishment— becomes a manifestation of Hester’s ‘adultery’, her erratic past and ignominious present. Will she break her vow of silence?"

American novelist and short story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on 4 July 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts.
Hawthorne studied at Bowdoin College from 1821 to 1825 and shortly thereafter published his first novel Fanshawe in 1828. In 1836, he served as the editor of the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge.
Predominantly a short story writer in his early career, Hawthorne, after publishing Twice-Told Tales (1837), surprisingly observed about his own works, “I do not think much of them.” However, his most popular short stories include ‘My Kinsman, Major Molineux’ (1832), ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ (1832), ‘Young Goodman Brown’ (1835) and ‘Feathertop’ (1852).
Hawthorne’s other major romances apart from the bestselling The Scarlet Letter (1850) were The House of the Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Romance (1852) and The Marble Faun (1860). For Hawthorne, romance was about exploring psychological themes like sin, human fallibility, self-destruction and retribution. Dark romanticism bordering on surrealism is what Hawthorne’s works, inspired by Puritan New England, were steeped in.
His seminal essay ‘Chiefly About War Matters’ (1862) foregrounded the author’s experiences of meeting eminent figures like Abraham Lincoln, during his travel to Washington, D.C., amidst the American Civil War.
Among his published works, a biography of his college friend Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States is also noteworthy.
Hawthorne died in his sleep on 19 May 1864.

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Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Publisher: Om Books International
X-ISBN: 9789352766857