THE SCARLET LETTER - Free eBook Online



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 sombre life; of few artistic encouragements, yet not wholly uncongenial, his moody, intensely meditative temperament being considered. Its colours 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 following is the table of his romances, stories, and other works: Fanshawe, published anonymously, 1826; Twice-Told Tales, 1st Series, 1837; 2nd Series, 1842; Grandfathers Chair, a history for youth, 1845: Famous Old People (Grandfathers Chair), 1841 Liberty Tree: with the last words of Grandfathers Chair, 1842; Biographical Stories for Children, 1842; Mosses from an Old Manse, 1846; The Scarlet Letter, 1850; The House of the Seven Gables, 1851: True Stories from History and Biography (the whole History of Grandfathers Chair), 1851 A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, 1851; The Snow Image and other Tales, 1851: The Blithedale Romance, 1852; Life of Franklin Pierce, 1852; Tanglewood Tales (2nd Series of the Wonder Book), 1853; A Rill from the Town-Pump, with remarks, by Telba, 1857; The Marble Faun; or, The Romance of Monte Beni (4 EDITORS NOTE) (published in England under the title of Transformation), 1860, Our Old Home, 1863; Dolliver Romance (1st Part in Atlantic Monthly), 1864; in 3 Parts, 1876; Pansie, a fragment, Hawthorne last literary effort, 1864; American Note-Books, 1868; English Note Books, edited by Sophia Hawthorne, 1870; French and Italian Note Books, 1871; Septimius Felton; or, the Elixir of Life (from the Atlantic Monthly), 1872; Doctor Grimshawes Secret, with Preface and Notes by Julian Hawthorne, 1882. Tales of the White Hills, Legends of New England, Legends of the Province House, 1877, contain tales which had already been printed in book form in Twice-Told Tales and the Mosses Sketched and Studies, 1883. Hawthornes contributions to magazines were numerous, and most of his tales appeared first in periodicals, chiefly in The Token, 1831-1838, New England Magazine, 1834,1835; Knickerbocker, 1837-1839; Democratic Review, 1838-1846; Atlantic Monthly, 1860-1872 (scenes from the Dolliver Romance, Septimius Felton, and passages from Hawthornes Note-Books). Works in 24 volumes, 1879; in 12 volumes, with introductory notes by Lathrop, Riverside Edition, 1883. Biography, etc. ; A. H. Japp (pseud. H. A. Page), Memoir of N. Hawthorne, 1872; J. T. Fields Yesterdays with Authors, 1873 G. P. Lathrop, A Study of Hawthorne, 1876; Henry James English Men of Letters, 1879; Julian Hawthorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife, 1885; Moncure D. Conway, Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1891; Analytical Index of Hawthornes Works, by E. M. OConnor 1882.

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