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This volume in the Critical Insights series brings together some of the high points of the last half-decade of Hawthorne criticism. The essays present a variety of critical viewpoints and an array of critical approaches. Some consider the cultural and historical contexts of Hawthorne's works, while others examine the state of Hawthorne studies through changing critical fashions. Some of the essays look to biographical speculation, some consider Hawthorne's psychology, and yet others look closely to those issues that concerned Hawthorne most. Hawthorne's major work The Scarlet Letter receives critical attention.