The selection of "Backgrounds and Sources" focuses on Hawthorne's visit to Brook Farm in 1841, as reported in his letters and The American Notebooks, as well as on other experiences and observations which find expression in the novel. The essays in "Criticism" include fifteen "Contemporary Reviews" that locate the problems of the novel pursued by later critics in a more detailed and sophisticated fashion. "Modern Essays in Criticism" represent the perspec-tives of Irving Howe, Roy R. Male, A. N. Kaul, Leo B. Levy, Hans-Joachim Lang, Philip Rahv, Allan B. Lefcowitz, Barbara F. Lefcowitz, Nina Baym, Hyatt H. Waggoner, Frederick C. Crews, Kelley Griffith, Jr., Louis Auchincloss, James H. Justus, and Kent Bales.
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