Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter: A Romance,

published in Boston by Ticknor and Fields in 1850, has come to be considered among the most important works in American literature, and indeed among the most important novels written in English. Widely read in the nineteenth century and appreciated for its portrait of Puritanism, twentieth-century critics have recognised its complex allegorical and symbolic patterns as offering a penetrating reflection on dilemmas which are fundamental to American experience and identity, most notably the idea that the migration of the Pilgrim Fathers held out the possibility of earthly regeneration. Whilst the novel is often read as an isolated expression of such concerns, when read in relation to Hawthorne’s short stories at this time – notably “The New Adam and…

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Citation: Daly, Robert. "The Scarlet Letter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7649, accessed 29 February 2024.]

7649 The Scarlet Letter 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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