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The Scarlet Letter

Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 417139  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.77" Width: 4.02" Height: 1.42"
Weight:   0.53 lbs.
Binding  Audio Cassette
Release Date   Sep 28, 2002
Publisher   Brilliance Audio Unabridged
ISBN  1590862899  
EAN  9781590862896  
UPC  755057029954  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The classic American story of Hester Prynne, accused of adultery, ostracized by her Puritan community, and abandoned by both her lover and her husband. The story opens in Puritan Boston, a settlement only fifteen or twenty years old. A young woman stands on a scaffold clasping a three-month-old baby. As a married woman with a missing husband and a new baby, Hester Prynne could have been sentenced to death for the crime of adultery. Instead she is condemned to always wear the letter A as a badge of her shame. As she stands there, she sees her long-missing husband, who has been held captive by Indians. While the town chorus is murmuring against her and her old and unattractive husband stares silently at her, the young and handsome clergyman publicly demands the name of her partner in crime - while desperately praying that she won't reveal him. The Scarlet Letter rightfully deserves its stature as the first great novel written by an American, the novel that announced American literature equal to any in the world.

Buy The Scarlet Letter by Dick Hill Nathaniel Hawthorne from our Audio Book store - isbn: 9781590862896 & 1590862899 upc: 755057029954

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More About Dick Hill Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of proud New England seafarers. He lived in genteel poverty with his widowed mother and two young sisters in a house filled with Puritan ideals and family pride in a prosperous past. His boyhood was, in most respects, pleasant and normal. In 1825 he was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and he returned to Salem determined to become a writer of short stories. For the next twelve years he was plagued with unhappiness and self-doubts as he struggled to master his craft. He finally secured some small measure of success with the publication of his Twice-Told Tales (1837). His marriage to Sophia Peabody in 1842 was a happy one. The Scarlet Letter (1850), which brought him immediate recognition, was followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851). After serving four years as the American Consul in Liverpool, England, he traveled in Italy; he returned home to Massachusetts in 1860. Depressed, weary of writing, and failing in health, he died on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Ross C. Murfin, professor of English at and former provost of Southern Methodist University, has also taught at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and the University of Miami, where he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of such books as Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence and the Burden of Belief and The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence: Texts and Contexts. He is coauthor, with Supryia Ray, of The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms (second edition) and series editor of Bedford/St. Martin's popular Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.


Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in Salem, in the state of Massachusetts. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 and died in 1864.

Nathaniel Hawthorne has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bantam Classics
  2. Barnes & Noble Classics
  3. Dover Evergreen Classics
  4. Dover Thrift Editions
  5. Library of America
  6. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  7. Norton Critical Editions
  8. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  9. Penguin Classics
  10. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  11. Real Reads
  12. Signet Classics
  13. Vintage Classics
  14. Word Cloud Classics

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
One of the best novels ever  Sep 18, 2008
'The Scarlet Letter' is a beautifully written and perfectly balanced classic of American literature, addressing in a lean 251 pages countless issues of the human experience: love, the nature of sin and shame and repentance, revenge and mercy, civilization and wild, society and ostracism. In bald terms, 'The Scarlet Letter' is absolutely one of the best pieces of writing ever, um, written.

A lot of people seem to take umbrage at Hawthorne's affected 19th-century style. My advice to you: get over it. It's a style, no more or less valid than any other style, and though it is a kind of writing that is out of fashion at the moment, Hawthorne manages to create an extremely deep and moving story much more effectively than most of the modern authors I read. The same advice do I offer to those who complain that they were 'forced' to read this book for a class. Please, skip the next episode of 'Gilmore Girls' and sit down with a book like this one. Your mind will thank you later.
Sin, Redemption   Jun 11, 2008
I think the many readers who were forced to partake of this classic were angry at their English teacher for making them read a book so wordy, detailed, and archaic in language. Many of the reviewers' complaints are about the author's style, which is definitely an acquired taste. Hawthorne doesn't merely give you a scene; he tries to tell you what time it is, how and why it is happening, and what each character is thinking as they enter the room. In this way, this can be a turn off to a leisurely reader; it may even be a turn off to an avid reader. The bottom line is that The Scarlet Letter, maybe more so than any other classic, is definitely a matter of style. I tend to admire the book because I can over look some of Hawthorne's unorthodox styles and look for a deeper meaning; if you happen to feel this way, great, if not, then maybe it just wasn't your kind of book.

The main subject in The Scarlet Letter is sin--but not only the sin of adultery (Hester and Dimmesdale). There is also the sin of jealousy and revenge (Chillingworth) as well as the sin of hypocrisy and gossip (Puritan community). Hawthorne's opinion of the hypocrisy of the Puritans seems to be illustrated in the opening scene with Hester coming out of the prison door we hear the Puritan women making besmirching comments about Hester, and one even wanting death for Hester because of her sin--this reaction from a do-good community! The main crux of the story though, as alluded to, is about Hester and Dimmesdale's sin of adultery, and, more importantly, how each of the two protagonists deal with their sin. While Hester's sin is spread out in the public eye of the New England community, and she is shamed publicly, Dimmesdale's sin is hidden, as no one except he, Hester and Chillingworth knows about it. In this way, there are two very paths that follow for Hester and the Reverend Dimmesdale. Hester, after her initial public humiliation and shame, begins life anew, and is able to find a hobby (that of a seamstress) to make ends meet, and her suffering seems to make her able to take on the challenges in life. She is able to deal with the questions and mischievousness from her daughter Pearl, and seems to implore Dimmesdale, who is obviously overcome with guilt, to forget their sin and live free. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, takes his sin very harshly, and not only feels he must punish himself for it, but physically becomes a shell of his former self. Still, Dimmesdale has a remarkable power to still give amazing sermons to the community, even with guilt. Chillingworth, Hester's ex-husband, enters the scene early in the book, and begins to "peck" away at Dimmesdale, knowing full-well that he can break him down mentally and physically with such a weight on his shoulders. During the scenes where Chillingworth is probing the mind of Dimmesdale, there seems to be a symbolic parallel between Chillingworth and the devil (there are several references to Chillingworth being the "black man" in the novel). Dimmesdale can't save himself physically, but he can spiritually. Hester emerges as the novel's hero, mainly because she sheds her former faults, and becomes a stronger person in the process.

The Scarlet Letter is definitely "heavy" reading. It might take you a few times to get through a few of the chapters. But, alas, persevere, and you may find it worth reading. And, take some advice: skip the introductory chapter "The Custom House" and just begin reading with "The Prison Door." I can give you a quick synopsis of the introduction: Hawthorne wrote a book about two people who sinned by committing adultery, and the Puritans weren't happy. As much as people say this book is outdated, it really isn't. I mean, public scandals are a part of our culture just as much as they were then. Hester Prynne is that public scandal, the story you hear on the news or other media outlets. Public infamy, as well as changing public perception, seems to never go out of style.

3 ½ stars

Hawthorne's Masterpiece  Jun 1, 2008
Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is a tale of secret love, adultery, and sadness. Every person should read this timeless American novel at some point in their life. The strength of Hester Prynne is unusual for novels composed during the time this was published, and is therefore a revolutionary literary work. My only complaint is the length of "The Custom House," however horrible this sounds, I would just skip it, it does not add to the plot of the novel anyway.
A wonderful piece of literature, however  May 23, 2008
I completely agree with most HS students that this book should be optional reading for them because HS teachers should very well know that there are many different minds that need very different kinds of reading material and exposure to variety is not always a good thing that's why you end up having reviews of books like this by some HS students who puke on it rather then have savored it like I did. My reasons for really loving this book is because of the historical/puritan life and manners I like to read about, I love human struggle and the need to understand inner feelings of character, and I like knowing about how communities deal with religious matters. Can you blame me for being such a sentimental person? Yes, the book is written at the 5th grade level, and some people still do read at that level so this may be a reason why it's survived for such a long time. In any case, don't have it on your book shelf if it's not your cup of tea; with me, it will always be a treasure.
Useful for AP Lit  May 22, 2008
I read Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter for my Advanced English 11 class. This is not a book I would normally have picked up and read, but I am glad that I read it.

The Scarlet Letter deals with themes of love, society's oppression, secrets, a character finding herself, as well as numerous other classic literature themes. I found the book itself to be challenging to read, but I liked the story. Hawthorne explores when feelings and passion conflict with religion, which was fascinating to consider from a religious perspective.

Although I did not enjoy the book much at the time I had to read it, it proved to be quite useful when I took the AP Literature and Composition Test this year. When I had to choose one book to frantically review the day before the test, this is the book I chose. Sure enough, this is the book I used for the AP test as a reference.

This is an essential book for anyone taking AP Literature.

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