The Historian's Scarlet Letter: Reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's Masterpiece as Social and Cultural History
This annotated edition of The Scarlet Letter enhances student and reader comprehension of a standard work studied in literature classes, exploring names, places, objects, and allusions.
- Makes the novel more easily understandable for a 21st-century audience
- Provides annotations that identify historical events, persons, and objects as well as allusions to the Bible and other texts familiar to Hawthorne's contemporaries
- Presents an account of Hawthorne's life and career that helps to explain his interest in the past, including his family's connections to significant events in colonial Massachusetts, some of which caused Hawthorne to see the past as a source of guilt
- Explores Hawthorne's research into colonial New England and 17th-century England that allowed him to create the context for his characters and to suggest underlying connections between colonial New Englanders and their former home
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