Monday, July 27, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Timeless_Books.jpg/320px-Timeless_Books.jpgA throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes. (Published 1850)


I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

19 comments:

  1. Another great opening line, Thanks for sharing,
    Yvonne.

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  2. I think I read this one long ago, when I was in Year 11 at school, but not since. I was into Puritans at the time because I had a juicy role in the school production of The Crucible. But I can't for the life of me recall what that wooden edifice was...

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    1. Oh, wow that would have been an amazing role at age 11. Probably time to read again, huh.

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  3. Hated this book in high school. Loved it 20 years later when reading it in grad school.

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    1. I think I must have too. No fond memories at all, but boy did I love Hawthorne later in college. Must be an age thing :)

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  4. Periodically I re-read this book, which I liked the first time I read it in college. It's such a great example of writing that moves a story forward while unveiling character, all the way through. Glad you chose this one.

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    1. He was such a good writer and his stories so engaging. Definitely a favorite of mine too :)

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  5. I've read it a couple of times and should again. I love his short stories.

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    1. I mean I love his short stories, as well as his novels (at least "Scarlet Letter" and House of the Seven Gables").

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    2. I'm a fan of his short stories too. Discovered Hawthorne in college and really enjoyed his style and everything I read.

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  6. Great book and what an opening line! It really captures the spirit of this book

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    1. Hi Birgit. I read this in high school, and really didn't appreciate. Loved Hawthorne in college years later. Would be fun to read again.

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  7. This is one of my favorite books. Don't watch the movie...your eyes will burn.

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    1. Hmm....don't recall seeing a movie, but must have somewhere. This is a popular story. As I said above, I really need to read again. Thanks for stopping by, Cherdo.

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  8. I know it's not action, but that's quite a strong opening, in my opinion :-)

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  9. Which begs the question. Should the opening to a novel be action for the best effect? I don't think so, even in an an action/adventure novel. I prefer a slower setup, but maybe that's just me. I love the visual in this opening. Thanks for commenting, Sarah.

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  10. That gives you the chills and you know those characters are in for some hard times.

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  11. Love his description. Really sets the stage, as you say. Thanks Lee.

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