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Rappaccini's Daughter Paperback – September 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


'Nathaniel wrote with exquisite beauty and feeling of the place... wonderfully nasty tale' Simon Schama --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far—far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English–speaking world, are made accessible through a completely fresh editorial approach and new translations. Through these short classic works, which feature forewords by leading contemporary authors, the modern reader will be introduced to the greatest writers of Europe and America. An elegantly designed series of genuine rediscoveries. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1162681519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1162681511
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,724,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Y. Lin on January 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
The short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne reeks with the theme of the ability to accept what is good and bad in humanity. The story pretty much alludes to the biblical story, with Giovanni and Beatrice starring as Adam and Eve respectively. The two scientists pretty much juxtapose each other, while Baglioni views things superficially only being able to see, Beatrice for what she is made of rather than what her character is like Rappaccini is much in tune with nature, not realizing the plights of what he made her to be out of, but what she is to him, perfection. Perfection cannot exist in the world. Because after that there is no meaning, nothing can be done after that because there is nothing higher.

Both young and beautiful, Giovanni and Beatrice meet in the gardens, alluding to the garden of Eden. The catch is that in this garden, the plants are toxic, with the ability to kill anyone who touches them. Only Beatrice can hold them because she is made out of them. However, Giovanni does not see this until towards the end. His views on her entirely change from being an angel to corrupt. He is not able to compromise between the two, and cannot see past her flaws although she has good intentions. This brings Beatrice into despair and she impulsively takes an antidote that would cure her of her evil. However, relating back to the theme of the inability to compromise, because she was too much intertwined with the poison as her life force, the antidote, the common representation of good, kills her.

Much of Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing is littered with ambiguity, as implied in his use of setting. There are three main colors prevalent throughout the story, which are yellow, purple, and black, each of them representing the different levels of good to evil.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Milliern on December 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This little compilation of three short stories ("Rappaccini's Daughter," Young Goodman Brown," and "A Select Party") has been put together to "exemplify Hawthorne's key thematic concerns." As far as possible assortments of Hawthorne's stories go, I think that goal has been satisfactorily realized; and it is difficult to see what selections could be more efficacious. However, it should be noted by potential buyers that the contents of this edition, published by Hesperus, is entirely contained in "Mosses from the Old Manse." The one particular reason I might advocate this particular edition is for Simon Schama's artistically written foreword, which is very enjoyable.

While I don't like to discuss contents of books I review, so that I don't spoil them, I will say that Hawthorne's work (and the themes, herein, contained) presents many elements of truly classic literature, in particular, staid concerns of thought that typify the human condition. Hawthorne's probing of human nature, human origin, and the natural (and supernatural) world is really something that cannot be missed. Coming from a philosophy and science background, I found the concerns of "Rappaccini's Daughter" to be as relevant today as they were in Hawthorne's on time (and mind). When this kind of content meets the expressive capacities of the literary ability possessed by Hawthorne, something truly great happens, and I cannot put into words what this is; one can only experience it. With magnificent prose, complex sentences sufficient for conveying complex ideas, and a perspective of substantial pith, I can wholeheartedly recommend this collection to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on December 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
The three short stories in this book give a perfect flavor of N. Hawthorne's masterful literary art: social relevance, psychological insight, irony, sarcasm, allegoric and symbolic power.

In `Rappaccini's Daughter', a beautiful garden (`Was this garden the Eden of the present world?') contains only poisonous flowers. Its gardener is a physician whose experiments serve only his diabolic and morbid goal of total control over his daughter.

In `Young Goodman Brown', a young man undergoes the hallucination of a black mass `by a score of the church members of Salem village'. Its aim is `to penetrate the deep mystery of sin.' He will be marked for the rest of his life.

`A Select Party' is held in a castle in the air. Those invited are `fantastic masquers, rendering heroism and nature alike ridiculous': the representative of Posterity (`I expect to owe you nothing, unless it be certain national debt'), Master Genius, Man of Fancy, but also `such rarities in the world as an incorruptible Patriot, a Priest without worldly ambitions, a Poet who felt no jealousy or a Reformer untrammeled by his theory.'
Vanitas vanitatum revisited.

These literary gems should not be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack on September 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book loved it although it was a required read. A lot of indubitable transcendental thoughts imbued in this novel.
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