The Scarlet Letter

Introduction

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance is a work of historical fiction by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1850.[1] Set in Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony during the years 1642 to 1649, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair and then struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Containing a number of religious and historic allusions, the book explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

The Scarlet Letter was one of the first mass-produced books in America.[2] It was popular when first published[2] and is considered a classic work today.[3] It inspired numerous film, television, and stage adaptations. Critics have described it as a masterwork[4] and novelist D. H. Lawrence called it a "perfect work of the American imagination".[5]


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