Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, is a foundational work in American Literature. This edition includes notes, maps, and essays to enhance the reading experience.
This 1850 novel is a romantic work of fiction set in the historical setting of 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts during the years 1642 to 1649. It magnifies freedom attainable through individual thought, even in the midst of an oppressive environment. As Hawthorne writes, “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”
The Puritan people as a whole were liberty-loving in the extreme, but the individual was restrained at every step by laws that no free people of today would tolerate for an hour. Paternalism in government was the rule in the other colonies and in Europe, but nowhere was it carried to such an extreme as in New England.