Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter. Folio Society. 1992, 1st thus. THE SCARLET LETTER was begun in the winter of 1849, following Nathaniel Hawthorne's dismissal from his post at the Custom House in Salem. While employed there, he had come across a small dusty package, containing a scrap of red cloth bearing the embroidered letter 'A', and documents concerning the life of a certain Hester Prynne. These formed the basis of the ensuing story, in which Hester, having borne a child by a man she will not name, suffers the recriminations of Puritan morality. This moving account tells of her struggle to bring up her child in a friendless society of New England settlers, while branded an adulteress: she must wear a scarlet 'A' upon her breast. Hawthorne described the novel simply as his 'tale of human frailty and sorrow'. It is also an exploration of the strangely delusive world of the New Englanders, where things are not always what they seem. Hester has her sin emblazoned for all to see, while her guilty lover and vengeful husband appear stainless, but the reality is finally discovered and some measure of expiation achieved. This was Hawthorne's first work to achieve mass popularity and it went on to prove itself as one of America's greatest classics. (Folio Society). 9" x 5½", 252pp, black cloth with a blocked red and gold design on the front cover, gold spine lettering, hardback. Laid paper. Illustrated with monochrome wood-engravings within the text by David Frampton. Fine, complete with slip-case.

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