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A throng of bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and greysteeple-crowned hats, inter-mixed with women, some wearing hoods, andothers bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, thedoor of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with ironspikes...The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and is considered to be his magnumopus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, during theyears 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life ofrepentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.In June 1642, in the Puritan town of Boston, a crowd gathers towitness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman found guilty of adultery. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" ("A" standing foradulterer) on her dress to shame her. She must stand on the scaffoldfor three hours, to be exposed to public humiliation.