Notes to Preface, The Scarlet Letter

sketch...introductory ...slpf.html#g01
meaning "The Custom-House" -- this whole preface should be taken ironically, in the context of Whig attacks on a Democrat author concerning his political post, after the publication of this novel with that introduction
community ...slpf.html#g01
i.e., Salem, Massachusetts, but more specifically, the Whig political press
personage... slpf.html#g01
The person considered to be attacked by an unflattering sketch in "The Custom-House" is William Lee, inspector. The person who attacked Hawthorne for the sketch is considered to be Whig political leader Charles Wentworth Upham. Upham wrote some letters to Washington to make sure Hawthorne was fired. Upham was later used as the model for Judge Pyncheon in The House of the Seven Gables.
kindlier spirit ...slpf.html#g01
the reader can judge for herself how kindly is the author's picture in the introduction of the Custom House officials, no matter how truthful

Summary. I am surprised that the introduction to this book offended anyone. Some readers thought I violently attacked a certain person, but I assure you that I wrote in a friendly and honest spirit. So I won't change a word. So there!


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Eldred, Eric. Notes to Preface, The Scarlet Letter. 1999. 23 Sep. 1999.


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