The Scarlet Letter

By Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author)

Series Signature Editions


Pub Date 3/7/2023

ISBN 9781435172791

Format Hardcover, Jacketed



The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Discover the story of The Scarlet Letter with this striking collector’s edition from Union Square & Co.'s Signature Editions series! The classic texts that shaped our culture feature exclusive cover art by distinguished artist Malika Favre. Her bold, graphic style gives each classic literature book a small masterpiece for a jacket. Collect the set or prize The Scarlet Letter special edition as your showpiece literary classic.
Boston, mid-seventeenth century: Hester Prynne, dignified and silent, is led through prison doors to her public shaming by her censorious Puritan neighbors. Holding her illegitimate child to her breast and bearing a bright scarlet letter "A" embroidered on her bodice, Hester must now struggle to create a new life for herself and her child in this harsh and unforgiving community. When her missing spouse reappears and takes up residence in town under an assumed identity, the stage is set for an explosive confrontation between the truly moral and the merely religious.

Literary history and meaning: The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was first published in 1850. It is a novel set in Puritan New England in the seventeenth century, and it tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman who is branded with a scarlet letter "A" as punishment for committing adultery. The novel delves into themes of sin, guilt, redemption, and the harsh judgment of society. Nathaniel Hawthorne's exploration of these themes, coupled with his rich symbolism and intricate prose, has solidified The Scarlet Letter as a classic work of American literature. Its enduring relevance lies in its exploration of moral ambiguity, individual conscience, and the consequences of societal hypocrisy, which continue to resonate with readers today.


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was an American novelist and short story writer. Most of his work was set in New England, and it often focuses on history and morality. Hawthorne’s writing balances psychological complexity with a dark, romantic morality in opposition to strict Puritan values.