|About the Book|
Lady Eleanores Mantle and The Prophetic Pictures were originally published in the short-story anthology Twice-Told Tales (1837/42). The Birthmark and Rappacinis Daughter have been taken from Mosses From an Old Manse (1846), written in a ConcordMoreLady Eleanores Mantle and The Prophetic Pictures were originally published in the short-story anthology Twice-Told Tales (1837/42). The Birthmark and Rappacinis Daughter have been taken from Mosses From an Old Manse (1846), written in a Concord presbytery belonging to Emerson. Lady Eleanores Mantle - Lady Eleanore has only just arrived from England with her retinue when she passes a funeral procession. The bell tolls... because death is on the prowl. An infatuated young man she does not care for offers her a glass of wine- she refuses to even touch it with her lips. He curses this arrogance and lack of compassion as a sin against the natural order. A plague spreads through the upper classes as well as the wretched streets of Cornhill. Protected from infection by his obsession, the young man gains access to the room where Lady Eleanore lies dying, lost to an excess of pride, as hated as she was admired - for the exclusive mantle from London was both the metaphorical and the literal source of contamination. The Prophetic Pictures - On the eve of their marriage, Walter and Elinore commission a famous artist to paint their portrait... that seems to him a hideous blemish on the otherwise perfect beauty of his wife. Rappacinis daughter - Dr Rappacini has shaped his daughter into a beautiful yet poisonous flower. Like her namesake, Beatrice guides her lover through the circles of Hell - but to ruin rather than salvation. These four spellbinding stories - written in sweeping, poetic prose - are all variations on the theme of the battle between good and evil- four prefigurations, one might say, of The Scarlet Letter. Because for Hawthorne, it is women who bear the stamp of destiny, victims of either their own selves or their subjugation.