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date: 23 February 2020

Prynne, Hester [Lit.] 

A Dictionary of Reference and Allusion

Andrew Delahunty,

Sheila Dignen

The adulteress in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The *Scarlet Letter (1850) set in 17th-century Boston. Hester is sent by her ageing English husband to Boston, where he joins her two years later. He arrives to find her in the pillory, with her illegitimate baby in her arms. She refuses to name her lover and is sentenced to wear a scarlet ‘A’, for ‘adulteress’, on her bosom. Her husband, taking on the assumed name of Roger Chillingworth, sets out to discover the identity of her lover and eventually identifies him as ... ...

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