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Library of America Nathaniel Hawthorne Edition

Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Library of America Nathaniel Hawthorne Edition : Titles in Order

Book 2
Here, in one Library of America volume, are all five of Hawthorne’s world-famous novels. Written in a richly suggestive style that seems remarkably contemporary, they are permeated by his own history as well as America’s.

In The House of the Seven Gables, for example, Hawthorne alludes to his ancestor’s involvement in the Salem witch trials, as he follows the fortunes of two rival families, the Maules and the Pyncheons. The novel moves across 150 years of American history, from an ancestral crime condoned by Puritan theocracy to reconciliation and a new beginning in the bustling Jacksonian era.

Considered Hawthorne’s greatest work, The Scarlet Letter is a dramatic allegory of the social consequences of adultery and the subversive force of personal desire in a community of laws. The transgression of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale; the innate lawlessness of their bastard child, Pearl; and the torturous jealousy of the husband Roger Chillingworth eventually erupt through the stern reserve of Puritan Boston. The Scarlet Letter engages the moral and romantic imagination of readers who ponder the question of sexual freedom and its place in the social world.

Fanshawe is an engrossing apprentice work that Hawthorne published anonymously and later sought to suppress. Written during his undergraduate years at Bowdoin College, it is a tragic romance of an ascetic scholar’s love for a merchant’s daughter.

The Blithedale Romance is a novel about the perils, which Hawthorne knew first-hand, of living in a utopian community. The utilitarian reformer Hollingsworth, the reticent narrator Miles Coverdale, the unearthly Priscilla, and the sensuous Zenobia (purportedly modeled on Margaret Fuller) act out a drama of love and rejection, idealism and chicanery, millennial hope and suicidal despair on an experimental commune in rural Massachusetts.

The Marble Faun, Hawthorne’s last finished novel, uses Italian landscapes where sunlight gives way to mythological shadings as a background for mysteries of identity and murder. Its two young Americans, Kenyon and Hilda, become caught up in the disastrous passion of Donatello, an ingenuous nobleman, for the beautiful, mysterious Miriam, a woman trying to escape her past.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
This Library of America volume offers what no reader has ever been able to find—an authoritative edition of all the tales and sketches of Nathaniel Hawthorne in a single comprehensive volume. Everything is included from his three books of stories, Twice-told Tales (1837, revised 1851), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846, 1854), and The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-told Tales (1851), and from his two books of stories for children based on classical myths, A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (1852) and Tanglewood Tales (1853)—along with sixteen stories not found in any of these volumes.

The stories are arranged, as they never have been in any other edition, in the order of their periodical publication. Readers of Hawthorne will thereby get a unique sense of how he became one of the most powerful and experimental writers of American fiction.

Here are many familiar but always surprising works like “Young Goodman Brown,” “Wakefield,” “The Birth-mark,” “The Artist of the Beautiful,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and “Ethan Brand.” And here, too, are many others that deserve to be better known, like:
• “Roger Malvin’s Burial,” a suspenseful story of guilt and parricide;
• “The May-Pole of Merry Mount,” where the chances for human love are perilously suspended between the silken license of the revelers and the iron rectitude of the Puritans;
• the masterly tale “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” full of the pains and terrors of national and familial separations, the severing of the ties of blood and culture that united the colonies to England;
• and the exquisite little story “The Wives of the Dead,” about the ambiguities of love and loss, in which, as so often in Hawthorne, the reader at the end is left in a kind of awe at the multiple possibilities of meaning.

To read these stories is to understand anew why Hawthorne is a great artist and an astonishingly contemporary one.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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