The Scarlet Letter

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1989-08-15
  • Publisher: Aerie
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each titleoffering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords. This edition ofThe Scarlet Letterincludes a Preface, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Keith Neilson. The Puritans thought Hester Prynne's crime was unforgivable. She was convicted, imprisoned--and then forced to wear, forever, a public reminder of her sin. The Scarlet letter. The Letter was unending punishment: it set hester apart from society, it tormented her days and haunted her soul. But the Letter haunted others, as well, its mystery turned Roger Chillingworth from a gentle healer into a man driven by revenge. Its meaning burned into Rev. Arthur Dimsdale's heart, as deadly as cancer. And its power loomed over the life of Hester's daughter, the uncontrollable child Pearl. Four people would be destroyed by a entangled web of guilt and secrets, unless one of them had the courage--and love--to reveal the truth of--The Scarlet Letter.

Author Biography

Nathanial Hawthorne was the author of many classics, such as The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Chronology of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Life and Workp. xix
Historical Context of The Scarlet Letterp. xxiii
Author's Preface to the Second Editionp. 3
The Custom House.--Introductoryp. 5
The Prison-Doorp. 55
The Market-Placep. 57
The Recognitionp. 69
The Interviewp. 81
Hester at Her Needlep. 91
Pearlp. 103
The Governor's Hallp. 117
The Elf-Child and the Ministerp. 127
The Leechp. 139
The Leech and His Patientp. 153
The Interior of a Heartp. 165
The Minister's Vigilp. 175
Another View of Hesterp. 189
Hester and the Physicianp. 201
Hester and Pearlp. 209
A Forest Walkp. 219
The Pastor and His Parishionerp. 227
A Flood of Sunshinep. 239
The Child at the Brook-Sidep. 247
The Minister in a Mazep. 257
The New England Holidayp. 271
The Processionp. 283
The Revelation of the Scarlet Letterp. 297
Conclusionp. 309
Nathaniel Hawthorne on The Scarlet Letterp. 317
Notesp. 327
Interpretive Notesp. 343
Critical Excerptsp. 353
Questions for Discussionp. 369
Suggestions for the Interested Readerp. 371
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


The Prison Door
A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak and studded with iron spikes.
The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. In accordance with this rule, it may safely be assumed that the forefathers of Boston had built the first prison house somewhere in the vicinity of Cornhill almost as seasonably as they marked out the first burial ground, on Isaac Johnson’s lot and round about his grave, which subsequently became the nucleus of all the congregated sepulchres in the old churchyard of King’s Chapel. Certain it is that, some fifteen or twenty years after the settlement of the town, the wooden jail was already marked with weather-stains and other indications of age which gave a yet darker aspect to its beetle-browed and gloomy front. The rust on the ponderous iron-work of its oaken door looked more antique than anything else in the New World. Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison. But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rosebush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him.
This rosebush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally overshadowed it—or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson, as she entered the prison door—we shall not take upon us to determine. Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers, and present it to the reader. It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.
All new material in this edition is copyright © 1987 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Excerpted from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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