Based on Hawthorne's own experience of a Utopian socialist community
outside Boston, The Blithedale Romance tells of the attempts of a like-
minded group to begin reforming a dissipated America. However, rather than
dropping bad habits and changing the world, Coverdale the prurient
bachelor, Hollingsworth the furious philanthropist, Zenobia the voluptuous
feminist, and Priscilla the vulnerable seamstress soon find themselves
pursuing egotistical paths which must lead ultimately to tragedy. Evoking a
bright rural idyll which fails to survive the ravages of lust and power,
Hawthorne cynically undermines the fatuities of nineteenth-century American

Nathaniel Hawthorne—The Blithedale Romance

  • 9780199554867