The Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692 by Ebenezer WheelwrightThe Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692 by Ebenezer Wheelwright

The Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692

byEbenezer WheelwrightEditorRichard Kopley

Hardcover | December 17, 2015

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The Salem Belle is a historical novel, a tale of vengeance and superstition set against the Salem witchcraft tragedy of 1692. Rejected by the beautiful Mary—“the Salem belle”—the bitter Trellison accuses her of witchcraft, mistakenly thinking himself motivated by religious faith. She is quickly tried and convicted, and her brother James and her fiancé, Walter, must try to rescue the persecuted woman. Engaging in its own right, The Salem Belle invites renewed interest because it is a critical source for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterwork, The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne transformed three scenes from Wheelwright’s novel for his own. In so doing, Hawthorne covertly elaborated his lifelong theme: original sin and the possibility of redemption.

Hawthorne scholar Richard Kopley, who has recovered The Salem Belle for twenty-first-century literary study, introduces and annotates Wheelwright’s novel, providing relevant historical details as well as pertinent details about Wheelwright’s life and reading. Kopley also furnishes three appendixes that will facilitate understanding of The Salem Belle and further analysis of its place in American literary history.

Ebenezer Wheelwright was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1800. He spent most of his professional life as a West Indies merchant in Boston.Richard Kopley is Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Penn State DuBois.Ebenezer Wheelwright was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1800. He spent most of his professional life ...
Title:The Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 7 × 5 × 0.87 inPublished:December 17, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271071168

ISBN - 13:9780271071169

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Table of Contents



Note on the Text

Introduction by Richard Kopley

The Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692

Appendix A: Publication History of The Salem Belle

Appendix B: Reviews of The Salem Belle

Appendix C: Scholarship on, and Scholarly Mention of, The Salem Belle


Editorial Reviews

“Hawthorne scholars will be intrigued by Richard Kopley’s claim that several passages toward the end of The Salem Belle inspired passages in the forest and New England holiday sections of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Reprinting The Salem Belle also contributes an additional text to conversations about the witchcraft hysteria that many people, especially students, probably know from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The novel provides another fictional window onto seventeenth-century Boston and Salem society—especially the social and religious scenes. It is an easy read, and when the plot thickens with the vengeance-inspired accusations that Mary Lyford is a witch, it is compelling.”—Leland S. Person, University of Cincinnati