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: The Threads of The Scarlet Letter offers new discoveries regarding the origins of Hawthorne's masterpiece, as well as critical interpretations based on these discoveries. Relying on a blend of close reading, biographical analysis, and archival research, this book demonstrates anew the power of traditional scholarship. The Threads of The Scarlet Letter illuminates Hawthorne's transformation of Poe's celebrated tale The Tell-Tale Heart and Lowell's long-neglected poem A Legend of Brittany and, identifying the hitherto-unknown author of the seminal narrative The Salem Belle, investigates Hawthorne's brilliant borrowing from that novel as well. The present volume argues that Hawthorne repeatedly attenuated his sources, but also allowed sufficient detail to permit their recognition. Furthermore, this volume elaborates Hawthorne's reworking of formal traditions in The Scarlet Letter--traditions that importantly clarify the meaning of the whole. The Scarlet Letter is shown to be a complex rendering of man's fall and redemption, and a triumphant assertion of literary vocation. The Threads of The Scarlet Letter includes a useful bibliographical overview of the history of the study of the origins of Hawthorne's greatest work.