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Blithedale Romance

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A novel by Hawthorne, published 1852, based on Hawthorne's experience at the Brook Farm Transcendental community.

It is narrated by a poet, Miles Coverdale, who visits Blithedale Farm, near Boston, where he meets the exotic Zenobia (said to be based on Margaret Fuller), the philanthropic, fierce social reformer Hollingsworth, and the gentle Priscilla. Coverdale broods on Fourier, Carlyle, and Emerson, while both the women (who turn out to be half‐sisters) fall in love with Hollingsworth; Zenobia is rejected and drowns herself, Hollingsworth marries Priscilla, and Coverdale remains a sceptical, solitary observer of mankind's aspirations and its disappointments.

Subjects: Literature

Reference entries

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804—1864) American novelist and short-story writer