The Scarlet Letter cover

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

00:00(1/26) 00a – The Custom-House, Pt 100:00
80
x1
1. 00a – The Custom-House, Pt 1
2. 00b – The Custom-House, Pt 2
3. 01 – The Prison Door
4. 02 – The Market Place
5. 03 – The Recognition
6. 04 – The Interview
7. 05 – Hester at Her Needle
8. 06 – Pearl
9. 07 – The Governor’s Hall
10. 08 – The Elf-Child and the Minister
11. 09 – The Leech
12. 10 – The Leech and his Patient
13. 11 – The Interior of a Heart
14. 12 – The Minister’s Vigil
15. 13 – Another view of Hester
16. 14 – Hester and the Physician
17. 15 – Hester and Pearl
18. 16 – A Forest Walk
19. 17 – The Pastor and his Parishioner
20. 18 – A Flood of Sunshine
21. 19 – The Child at the Brook-Side
22. 20 – The Minister in a Maze
23. 21 – The New England Holiday
24. 22 – The Procession
25. 23 – The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter
26. 24 – Conclusion

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Genres

Summary

A beautiful woman who is punished for the mortal sin of loving a man other than her husband, a cowardly lover, a vengeful husband, a rebellious illegitimate child and the oppressive and patriarchal morality of 17th century Puritanism in Boston. Together these form an unforgettable and thought-provoking glimpse of how much social attitudes have changed over the centuries. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the creator of such beloved works as Twice-Told Tales, A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, The House of the Seven Gables and spine-chilling tales like Roger Malvin's Burial. Scion of an old Puritan family from Salem, Massachusetts, Hawthorne was familiar with the old traditions of the area. He began writing in college and worked as a customs surveyor to earn his livelihood while pursuing his passion for creative writing. His friendship with Ralph Waldo Emerson broadened his horizons considerably and he experimented with movements like Transcendentalism. The Scarlet Letter is a deeply disturbing novel about gender discrimination, women's oppression, male dominated society and authoritarian religions. Set in 17th century Boston, its lovely heroine Hester Prynne, is accused of adultery and giving birth to an illegitimate child in the absence of her husband. The punishment mandated for this crime is to be paraded and vilified in public with a scarlet letter A affixed to her chest, signifying “adulteress.” She refuses to name her partner in crime. The missing husband arrives fortuitously at that very moment, but does not reveal himself to Hester or the public. Intent on revenge, he devises an elaborate plot to destroy his wife and her nameless lover. The book was an instantaneous hit when it was first published and touched a chord with readers all over the world, both men and women. It was the first book to be published on a mass scale in the United States. However, religious establishments were critical of the book's attempt to countermand the rules of the Church and promote immorality. Generations of readers have been struck by its compassion, depth and deep human concern. The strong plot and memorable characters have rendered it uniquely suited to adaptations for stage, film, television and radio. The Scarlet Letter remains a masterpiece of wonderful story-telling, full of dramatic moments, secrets and mysteries and above all, for the modern reader, it's an excellent read!

Reviews

Md:Nahid Hossain

- History

in this story is proved of life strugle.

Neenah

- Scarlet letter

I hate to sound ungrateful because it is great to have these books read for free so please do not take my review as ungrateful. But I had to stop before the first reader finised. Nothing against the book which was boring. The movie with Demi Moore was very good. I am sure the reader did his best and it is no fault of his we can't understand him. I have always understood the British being from NYC some of our words are pronounced the same such as, CAR, we both do not promounce the "R" So I guess it's not the reader but us, we are the ones who can't understand some words. I can only speak on the first reader.

Thea

- Chapter 19

I agree with the first 4 chapters. But Chapter 19 is bad as well.

Thea

- Scarlett letter review

I was really looking forward to this book, but I agree, it is very hard to listen to this book. The reader's accent is to hard to understand and keep my attention.

Julie

- Review scarlet letter

Hmmmmm.... This classic was very hard to listen to with every chapter being read by a different narrator. Also the book itself is actually boring. I'm sorry but I'm just being honest.

Patty

- The Scarlet Letter

Had to give up on this reading. Readers were very lacking, hard to understand, stumbled on words. Redo reading please I would really like to listen in the future.

Robin

- The Scarlet Letter

This was a wonderful, poetic book but terribly hard to understand many of the readers. After the first few chapters it got better but please please find some English speaking readers and re-do this.

I thought the first 5 chapters are fine even with the readers accent even though i dont have one.

I could not understand the first 5 chapters at all. It is very hard to hear someone with such an extreme accent read older English text.

Serena

- Slow But Classic

The book is a slow one owing to the archaic language and long descriptive style, but does have very colorful characters and an interesting plot. I do wish there was more uniformity and quality to the readers, however, free is free.

pupilla

- quality

Seriously, the first four chapters are awful as they are... Chapter 1-2 guy stumbles upon every word with more than 4 syllables, and the girl who reads chapters 3-4 has a so heavy accent, I can't understand a thing...

Jasmine

- English

First 5 chapters were not as interesting but also the speakers made me not really understand much.

Gabby

The accents are hard to understand, but otherwise this is great (:

Michaela

- Puritanism and romance

It's true that the readers are not always easy to understand, but the text itself is so wonderful and the story really touching.

Jamie

- Wonderful book

Great book, well worth the journey. Though I do agree with other reviews, unfortunately the reader of chapter 3 & 4, particularly chapter 3, is difficult to understand. I am grateful to everyone that volunteers their time, and personally love listening to different accents, but chapter 3 detracts a bit too much in being able to understand key words and sentences.

Carol

The first four chapters are horrible they have put me off this book!!!

Dean

Some of the readers have the worst accents, you can barely understand what they are saying at times

A.A.

- Listen with patience

This is a great book, and several of the readers are especially strong, but several readers have thick accents, are very monotone, or are simply not talented readers. This book is a classic, and I think it deserves more professional treatment; however, this is a free audiobook and the readers are volunteers. Overall, not impressed with the quality of the audio, but the book speaks for itself. Still worth a listen if you can put up with it.

Jim

This book is great!

Books Should Be Free - Admin

- Audio Quality

Be ware the narration is difficult to understand at the beginning of this book. We don't have an alternate recording at this time but we will update this page when one becomes available.

Alex

- Unintelligible readings.

Can someone PLEASE re-record the first four chapters? Chap 1-2 courtesy of James is full of stumbling over words, and it's nigh on impossible to understand the chick with the accent who reads Chap 3-4 (I cannot even divine her name).

Paula

- Chapter 3 & 4

I don't know who recorded this book with a thick accent and expected anyone to understand it, but I think it's quite frankly ridiculous that I can't understand anything in that chapter. It's a colonial era book. Why would you even record a chapter if you can't speak clearly?!? I missed an entire chapter!