From the Publisher
First published in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical novel became an instant bestseller. Set in Puritan Salem, Massachusetts, in the middle of the 17th century, the story chronicles the struggles of Hester Prynne, a convicted adulteress. Having given birth to a daughter outside of wedlock while her husband was presumed lost at sea, Hester is publically humiliated with a scarlet letter “A” that must be affixed to her clothing at all times. When her husband returns, misshapen from his time away, he is overcome with anger and a thirst for revenge against the man who impregnated his wife. He assumes a new identity as Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to help him in his search for the guilty man. Meanwhile, Hester’s daughter Pearl develops a fascination with her mother’s symbol of humiliation. Their lives collide with Chillingworth and Pearl’s clandestine father in an ending rich with symbolism, to which readers return generation after generation.