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FREE Barron's Booknotes-The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne-Free Notes
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LORD OF MISRULE

Officer of the English court appointed to oversee the Christmas revels. As the name suggests, the revels were an occasion for turning court decorum upside down.

MARRY, I TROW

Truly, I believe.

MILLER, GENERAL

A hero of the War of 1812. When asked if he could take a British battery, the young officer replied, "I'll try, sir." -

NEPENTHE

A drug thought by the ancient Greeks to cause forgetfulness and loss of pain.

NEW ENGLAND PRIMER

A moralistic little book from which generations of American children learned their ABCs.

OVERBURY, SIR THOMAS

The subject of an infamous 17th-century murder case. He opposed the marriage of Robert Carr to the divorced Frances Howard. He was sent to the Tower of London, where he was poisoned by Lady Howard's agents.

PEQUOD WARS

A series of raids on the Pequod villages, conducted in 1637 by the Massachusetts settlers, in revenge for the murder of one John Oldham, a member of the colony. Hundreds of Indians were burned alive.

SIMPLES

Medicinal plants.

SUMPTUARY REGULATIONS

Laws of the colony governing expenses, especially for personal luxuries like food and clothing.

TAYLOR, GENERAL

Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States. His election in 1848 cost Hawthorne his job as Surveyor of the Customs.


THOREAU, HENRY DAVID

Author of Walden. He was a Transcendentalist and a friend of Hawthorne's and other members of the Concord literary circle.

TURNER, ANN

A brothel-keeper involved in the murder of Thomas Overbury. She delivered the poison to the Tower of London.

WHIG

In Hawthorne's time, the political party opposed to the Democrats.

WILSON, JOHN

A Cambridge scholar who abandoned law in favor of the ministry. He came to America in 1630 and became a teacher at First Church in Boston. Hawthorne presents him as a leader, or senior member, of the Boston clergy.

WINTHROP, JOHN

Official first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was the acknowledged leader of the group of Puritans who came to New England in 1630, the group that included Hawthorne's great- great-great grandfather.

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