The Scarlet Letter - Complete Work and Study Guide. An ardent young woman, her cowardly lover, and her aging, vengeful husband - these are the central characters in this stark drama of the conflict between passion and convention in the harsh, Puritan world of seventeenth-century Boston. Tremendously moving and rich in psychological insight, this tragic novel of shame and redemption reveals Hawthorne's concern with New England's past and its influence on American attitudes. From his dramatic illumination of the struggle between mind and heart, dogma and self-reliance, he fashioned one of the masterpieces of fiction. This is an unabridged, republication of the text from the first edition, originally published in 1850. Copyright 2009, Dover Thrift Study Edition and includes a Comprehensive Study Guide. 5 x 8.25 inches. Soft cover. 248 pp.