The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Literature & Fiction
The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne was already a man of forty-six, and a tale writer of some twenty-four years' standing, when _The Scarlet Letter_ appeared. He was born at Salem, Mass., on July 4th, 1804, son of a sea-captain. He led there a shy and rather somber life; of few artistic encouragements, yet not wholly uncongenial, his moody, intensely meditative temperament being considered. Its colors and shadows are marvelously reflected in his _Twice-Told Tales_ and other short stories, the product of his first literary period. Even his college days at Bowdoin did not quite break through his acquired and inherited reserve; but beneath it all, his faculty of divining men and women was exercised with almost uncanny prescience and subtlety. _The Scarlet Letter, _ which explains as much of this unique imaginative art, as is to be gathered from reading his highest single achievement, yet needs to be ranged with his other writings, early and late, to have its last effect. In the year that saw it published, he began _The House of the Seven Gables, _ a later romance or prose-tragedy of the Puritan-American community as he had himself known it -- defrauded of art and the joy of life, "starving for symbols" as Emerson has it. Nathaniel Hawthorne died at Plymouth, New Hampshire, on May 18th, 1864.

The Custom-House
Introduction to "The Scarlet Letter "
I. The Prison Door
II. The Market-Place
III. The Recognition
IV. The Interview
V. Hester at Her Needle
VI. Pearl
VII. The Governor’s Hall
VIII. The Elf-Child and The Minister
IX. The Leech
X. The Leech and his Patient
XI. The Interior of a Heart
XII. The Minister’s Vigil
XIII. Another View of Hester
XIV. Hester and the Physician
XV. Hester and Pearl
XVI. A Forest Walk
XVII. The Pastor and his Parishioner
XVIII. A Flood of Sunshine
XIX. The Child at the Brookside
XX. The Minister in a Maze
XXI. The New England Holiday
XXII. The Procession
XXIII. The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter
XXIV. Conclusion
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