The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance

By Nathaniel Hawthorne; Dover Thrift Editions

Dover Publications, Paperback, 9780486426846, 176pp.

Publication Date: July 15, 2003

Description
A group of Utopians, dispirited by a mid-nineteenth-century America they view as dissolute, takes to the pastoral life, but finds little satisfaction in its socialist living experiments. Little by little, the members' hypocrisies, contradictions, and ideological and economic paradoxes are exposed even as they attempt to create the ideal community.
Among the group are Hollingsworth, an idealistic but egotistical reformer; Zenobia, an ardent feminist and exotic beauty; Priscilla, her frail and mysterious sister; Old Moodie, the sisters' manipulative father; Westervelt, a demonic mesmerist; and Miles Coverdale, whose narrative of the Blithedale experiment reveals the sexist and classist oppression permeating the Utopian group.
First published in 1852, "The Blithedale Romance" was based in part on Hawthorne's disillusioning experiences with the Brook Farm experimental community near Boston in 1841. An engrossing novel about love, idealism, and politics tragically gone amiss, this captivating work bristles with the author's perceptive wit and intelligence.


About the Author
Born in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for his historical tales and novels about American colonial society. After publishing The Scarlet Letter in 1850, its status as an instant bestseller allowed him to earn a living as a novelist. Full of dark romanticism, psychological complexity, symbolism, and cautionary tales, his work is still popular today. He has earned a place in history as one of the most distinguished American writers of the nineteenth century.