First edition of the important American novel, called "beautiful, admirable, extraordinary" by Henry James.
"It is densely dark, with a single spot of vivid colour in it; and it will probably remain the most consistently gloomy of English novels of the first order." – Henry James
An exploration of outsiders, social stigma, and the philosophical underpinnings of morality, THE SCARLET LETTER was composed during a time of great doubt and disillusionment for Hawthorne, when he was having trouble achieving mainstream success. THE SCARLET LETTER turned Hawthorne's career around and inspired others: in using a realistic setting to create an extended moral allegory, Hawthorne also influenced Melville's famous book, MOBY-DICK (which was dedicated to him). The first edition of THE SCARLET LETTER was issued in only 2500 copies. Called "a work of pure genius" by Harold Bloom, it remains highly sought today and quite scarce in collectible condition. This is a beautiful copy.
Read more: Bloom, Nathaniel Hawthorne; James, Hawthorne; Blanck, Bibliography of American Literature (BAL), 7600; Clark, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A descriptive bibliography A16.1.
Boston: Ticknor, Reed, Fields, 1850. 7'' x 4.25''. Original blind-stamped brown cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Publisher's catalogue inserted before front endpaper. 4, , iv, 322 pages. Housed in custom quarter brown goatskin clamshell box. Early ink owner signature on title page. Lightest expert restoration to spine ends and corners; bits of offsetting to first ad leaf, else interior clean with very little foxing.
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