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Download The Scarlet Letter Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Scarlet Letter Audiobook, by Nathaniel Hawthorne Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2015 ISBN: 9781491585870
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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic American story of Hester Prynne, accused of adultery, ostracized by her Puritan community, and abandoned by both her lover and her husband

The story opens in Puritan Boston, a settlement only fifteen or twenty years old. A young woman stands on a scaffold clasping a three-month-old baby. As a married woman with a missing husband and a new baby, Hester Prynne could have been sentenced to death for the crime of adultery. Instead she is condemned to always wear the letter A as a badge of her shame. As she stands there, she sees her long-missing husband, who has been held captive by Indians. While the town chorus is murmuring against her and her old and unattractive husband stares silently at her, the young and handsome clergyman publicly demands the name of her partner in crime—while desperately praying that she won't reveal him.

The Scarlet Letter rightfully deserves its stature as the first great novel written by an American, the novel that announced American literature equal to any in the world.

This novel is part of Brilliance Audio's extensive Classic Collection, bringing you timeless masterpieces that you and your family are sure to love.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy.”

    Malcolm Cowley

  • The Scarlet Letter isn’t a pleasant, pretty romance. It is a sort of parable, an earthly story with a hellish meaning.”

    D. H. Lawrence

  • “Considered a masterpiece of American literature and a classic moral study.”

    Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

  • “The finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country.”

    Henry James

  • combines the strength and substance of an oak with the subtle organization of a rose, and is great, not of malice aforethought, but inevitably. It goes to the root of the matter, and reaches some unconventional conclusions, which, however, would scarce be apprehended by one reader in twenty. For the external or literal significance of the story, though in strict correspondence with the spirit, conceals that spirit from the literal eye. The reader may choose his depth according to his inches but only a tall man will touch the bottom…very story may be viewed under two aspects: as the logical evolution of a conclusion from a premise, and as something colored and modified by the personal qualities of the author. If the latter have genius, his share in the product is comparable to nature's in a work of human art,—giving it everything except abstract form… A gloomy and energetic religious sect, pioneers in a virgin land, with the wolf and the Indian at their doors, but with memories of England in their hearts and English traditions and prejudices in their minds; weak in numbers, but strong in spirit; with no cultivation save that of the Bible and the sword; victims, moreover of a dark and bloody superstition,—such a people and scene give admirable relief and color to a tale of human frailty and sorrow.  Amidst such surroundings, then, the figure of a woman stands, with the scarlet letter on her bosom… But a writer who works with deep insight and truthful purpose can never be guilty of a lack of decency. Indecency is a creation, not of God or of nature, but of the indecent.whoever takes it for granted that indecency is necessarily involved in telling the story of an illicit passion has studied human nature and good literature to poor purpose.

    Atlantic (an excerpt from the review)

  • “A gloomy and energetic religious sect, pioneers in a virgin land…with memories of England in their hearts and English traditions and prejudices in their minds; weak in numbers, but strong in spirit; with no cultivation save that of the Bible and the sword…Such a people and scene give admirable relief and color to a tale of human frailty and sorrow.”

    Atlantic

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About the Author
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and made his ambition to be a writer while still a teenager. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, where the poet Longfellow was also a student, and spent several years traveling in New England and writing short stories before his best known novel, The Scarlet Letter, was published in 1850. His writing was not at first financially rewarding, and he worked as measurer and surveyor in the Boston and Salem Custom Houses. In 1853 he was sent to Liverpool as American consul and then lived in Italy before returning to the United States in 1860, where he died in his sleep four years later.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.