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The Scarlet Letter, A Romance
Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1850 Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1850. First edition, first printing. Publisher's brown T cloth decoratively stamped in blind to front board and lettered in gilt to spine, cream endpapers, publisher's ads inserted at front. A very good copy with some wear and rubbing to spine, slightly cocked, and page edges lightly toned, with expert repairs to spine. Overall very pleasing in the original publisher's binding. Housed in a custom slipcase with folding chemise. BAL 7600. From the library of Pulitzer Prize winning author Kenneth Silverman. The Scarlet Letter is set in the author's hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, in the early 17th century, just before the onset of the infamous Salem witch trials. The novel features Hester Prynne, an adulteress facing the shame and judgment of her Puritan community. In addition to officially sanctioned public humiliation, Prynne must wear a scarlet "A" pinned to her chest as a symbol of her transgression. After being released from prison, Prynne is exiled from her church and community, and she is forced to raise her daughter, the product of her adulterous relationship, and continue her work of helping the poor in solitude. Through the juxtaposition of Prynne's social condemnation and her charitable endeavors, Hawthorne explores the themes of guilt, sin, and Puritanism. Interestingly, The Scarlet Letter was published before Hawthorne achieved literary success, as indicated by his inclusion of his introductory essay "The Custom-House," in which the author chronicles his years working in Salem prior to writing The Scarlet Letter. This essay was met with harsh criticism from his local community, prompting the inclusion of a preface in subsequent editions in which Hawthorne defends "The Custom-House," which he says "could not have been done in a better or a kindlier spirit, nor, so far as his abilities availed, with a livelier effect of truth." Chiefly a biographer, Professor Kenneth Silverman co-directed the American Civilization program at NYU, and won not only the Pulitzer but also the Bancroft Prize for his work The Life and Times of Cotton Mather. Other notable works of his include biographies of Edgar Allan Poe and Samuel F. B. Morse. A magician himself, he also profiled the life of Harry Houdini. . First Edition. Hard Cover. Very Good.
      [Bookseller: B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-12-12           Check availability:      Biblio    

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