Based on Hawthorne's own experience of a Utopian socialist community outside Boston, The Blithedale Romance tells of the attempts of a like-minded group to begin reforming a dissipated America. However, rather than dropping bad habits and changing the world, Coverdale the prurient bachelor, Hollingsworth the furious philanthropist, Zenobia the voluptuous feminist, and Priscilla the vulnerable seamstress soon find themselves pursuing egotistical paths which must lead ultimately to tragedy. Evoking a bright rural idyll which fails to survive the ravages of lust and power, Hawthorne cynically undermines the fatuities of nineteenth-century American idealism. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.