The scarlet letter

The elderly husband of Hester Prynne returns unexpectedly to their New England village to find his wife nursing an illegitimate baby and wearing a scarlet letter - for Adulteress - embroidered on her dress. While her husband embarks on a vengeful hunt for the child's father, Hester refuses to name him because he holds a respected position in the Puritan community. In desperation, the lovers make a secret plan to flee to Europe with their young daughter. Hawthorne's story caused a stir when it appeared in 1850 and remains a milestone in American fiction.


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