Blithedale Romance

ISBN-10: 0140390286
ISBN-13: 9780140390285
Edition: 2001
List price: $11.00 Buy it from $0.89
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Description: Abjuring the city for a pastoral life, a group of utopians set out to reform a dissipated America. But the group is a powerful mix of competing ambitions and its idealism finds little satisfaction in farmwork. Instead, of changing the world, the  More...

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Book details

List price: $11.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/25/1983
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Abjuring the city for a pastoral life, a group of utopians set out to reform a dissipated America. But the group is a powerful mix of competing ambitions and its idealism finds little satisfaction in farmwork. Instead, of changing the world, the members of the Blithedale communityindividually pursue egotistical paths that ultimately lead to tragedy. Hawthorne's tale both mourns and satirizes a rural idyll not unlike that of nineteenth-century America at large.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Mass. When Hawthorne was four years old, his father died. Years later, with financial help from his maternal relatives who recognized his literary talent, Hawthorne was able to enroll in Bowdoin College. Among his classmates were the important literary and political figures Horatio Bridge, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Franklin Pierce. These friends supplied Hawthorne with employment during the early years after graduation while Hawthorne was still establishing himself as a legitimate author. Hawthorne's first novel, Fanshawe, which he self-published in 1928, wasn't quite the success that he had hoped it would be. Not willing to give up, Hawthorne began writing stories for Twice-Told Tales. These stories established Hawthorne as a leading writer. In 1842, Hawthorne moved to Concord, Mass., where he wrote a number of tales, including "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "Young Goodman Brown," that were later published as Mosses from an Old Manse. The overall theme of Hawthorne's novels was a deep concern with ethical problems of sin, punishment, and atonement. No one novel demonstrated that more vividly than The Scarlet Letter. This tale about the adulterous Puritan Hester Prynne is regarded as Hawthorne's best work and is a classic of American literature. Other famous novels written by Hawthorne include The House of Seven Gables and The Blithedale Romance. In 1852, Hawthorne wrote a campaign biography of his college friend Franklin Pierce. After Pierce was elected as President of the United States, he rewarded Hawthorne with the Consulship at Liverpool, England. Hawthorne died in his sleep on May 19, 1864, while on a trip with Franklin Pierce.

Annette Kolodny is former Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. She is the author of The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860. She currently teaches courses on ecocriticism and the American frontiers at the University of Arizona.

Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
The Blithedale Romance
Notes

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