Reviews

  • An extraordinary work of the imagination that burns from page to page with the fierce simplicity of scripture and an almost cinematic clarity of vision. The Scarlet Letter is an astounding book full of intense symbolism, as strange and haunting as anything by Edgar Allan Poe

    Guardian
  • Something might at last be sent to Europe as exquisite in quality as anything that had been received

    Henry James
  • No facile answers are provided here. Hester is, after all, guilty; Pearl the "Elfin" child, has devilish traits; the Puritans are given their due. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are villains because of their hypocrisy but remain sympathetic because they are both self-destructive...

    Independent
  • A defiant adulteress; a community of hypocrites who force her to wear a scarlet letter A around her neck as a badge of her shame; an evil husband, secretly stoking the fires of their moral fervour until it reaches boiling point; and, finally, a stunning public confession in which the woman reveals the identity of her lover, who is then promptly sent to the gallows

    Sunday Times
  • In making fiction out of the excesses of his Puritan ancestors, Hawthorne anticipated the technique of a modern movie-director. He was a master of crowd scenes

    Financial Times

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