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Rappaccini's Daughter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Rappaccini's Daughter

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  3,774 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Classic short story, one of Hawthorne's best. According to Wikipedia: ""Rappaccini's Daughter" is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1844 concerning a medical researcher in medieval Padua. It was published in the collection Mosses from an Old Manse... Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was an American novelist and short ...more
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Published April 1st 2011 by B&R Samizdat Express (first published 1844)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
One of Hawthorne's classic stories, I read this for the first time in high school. Great for Halloween time!

Listened on Forgotten Classics (episode 1) and episode 2).
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Davis
Reading this as Halloween fare on Forgotten Classics, thanks to a listener's request.

Here is Part I.

Followed by Part II.
Was Nathaniel Hawthorne describing a jeweler and his daughter, or a mad botanist and his "experiment"? Either way, descriptions are absolutely lush with comparisons of petals to gems, blossoms to rubies, and water to diamonds. The garden that Giovanni sneaks a peek at is filled with beautiful flowers, and there is one in particular that emits a potently fragrant and suspiciously alluring scent. This purple planted wonder is tended to by Rappaccini's beautiful daughter, Beatrice, who treats it wi ...more
This is a gothic/sci-fi short story set in Italy. It read like a Shakespearean play, and I think I would have liked it better if the language wasn't quite so dense and if the dialogue wasn't so melodramatic.

However this is a very interesting premise as Hawthorne drew from The Garden of Eden, Dante's Inferno, and Paradise Lost to create this allegory.

This story still resonates with today's times as it is about a scientist who generically engineers his daughter into a poisonous vessel.

To sum it up
Aimad Bzr
Having read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a friend of mine recommended that I read this short story by the same author. Rappaccini's Daughter is a modern fairy tale that also roots in science fiction genre.
The story is set in Italy and revolves around an Italian young man who fell in love with a gorgeous girl named Beatrice. Beatrice is the daughter of a strange physician and botanist. Beatrice's beauty is unique and the garden where Giovanni's eyes met hers added made his adoratio
Jul 20, 2013 Bryn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Hawthorne, fantasy, classic literature, fairy tales
Recommended to Bryn by: Coursera Science Fiction and Fantasy class
A lot of Hawthorne's short stories can be seen as early science fiction, in a sense--this one can't. Rappaccini's Daughter is a modern fairy tale, I think. Beatrice's ailment, her poison breath, hardly has any scientific ground to stand on and Hawthorne didn't try to give us any. I see this as more of a magical tale than some of his other short stories. That being said, I still really enjoyed reading this. Beatrice and Giovanni's relationship is tragic from the beginning, and the way Hawthorne w ...more
Oct 05, 2008 Cortney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cortney by: Leigh at Vermont Studio Center, who is awesome.
My ovaries twanged a little as I finished this one. I (briefly) wanted to have child so I could read this to her as a bedtime story. Strange, yes, but I think this story is a beautiful fairy tale that reaches back into our bedtime reading routines from childhood. This is the gothic, deathly, sickly beautiful story I wanted when I was eight. Or twelve. Or twenty-seven.

The language gave me the giggles in a couple places. "Intercourse" could mean conversation circa 1850. "Relations" didn't always
John Pistelli
While I am not in the habit of reviewing individual short stories, this is almost novella-length anyway and is one of my all-time favorites. Someone should publish it in a lavish illustrated edition: I imagine mixed media, photos of floral tendrils and marble ruins that frame sketchier figure drawing and landscapes, probably in oil pastels. Alternately, I could see puppets being involved.

The story is prefaced by a self-parodic author biography, in which Hawthorne, in a fit of Romantic irony, Fre
I listened to the audio version of Rappaccini's Daughter narrated by Steven Jay Cohen. It's a short story written in the third-person point of view of Giovanni Guasconti, a medical student in medieval Padua. It centers around Giacomo Rappaccini, a medical researcher who grows a garden of poisonous plants. He rears his daughter, Beatrice to tend the plants, and she becomes resistant to the poisons, but in the process she herself becomes poisonous to others. Guasconti falls in love with Beatrice w ...more
Of all the Hawthorne short stories, this is my favorite. I love it for a few reasons. First off, I love this Frankenesque idea of what being a monster really means and does a monster have a soul that Hawthorne explores a lot more compactly than Shelley. Beatrice's body may be poisonous, but the author does not indicate her heart is too. Secondly, I love Beatrice as a character. As far as favorite classic female protagonists go, she ranks right up there with Estella (Great Expectations). Can you ...more
Very elegant without being too ornate, this story is not in the usual Hawthorne style. The language is much simpler, the idea more succinctly expressed. The ending is broadcast from the beginning so the reader is left to wistfully hope for a different outcome while nevertheless dreading the expected and inevitable one. I thought it was delicately wrought and very stylishly done.
To be honest, when I started reading the story I kept dozing off, to the point that I just had to put it aside and take a nap. Afterwards I picked it continue it. Although it is a bit predictable, it turns out to be entertaining and gripping towards end.
One of my favorite short stories of all time! I originally read it for my freshman lit class, but I've kept the textbook, mostly so I could reread that story whenever I want. The best way to describe it is as a sort of fantasy, almost like magical realism. It's completely unlike Nathaniel Hawthorne's best known work, The Scarlet Letter. It's a beautiful and amazing story of the love of a man for a prominant botanist's daughter, & the horrible secret she carries as a result of her father's ex ...more
Daniel R.

"There is something truer and more real, than what we can see with the eyes, and touch with the finger".
I loved this story when I was in high school, thought if perfectly devious and clever. It was one of the turning points in my academic career, to realize not all 'great lit' was horrid.
Z Coonen
I'm not really into gothic stories. I selected the story to read bc I'm a fan of The Scarlet Letter. If it is true that Little Shop of Horrors was inspired by this, then bonus points for that both ways.

With regard to the story itself, it felt as though the last few paragraphs took the pace of the story from a Sunday stroll to a mad dash with a finish that made me look back and wonder what happened in the last laps. I didn't see this in other reviews; perhaps it's bc I was listening to the audio
Hawthorne twists a dark tale about forbidden love and toxic plants. It was also the inspiration for Little Shop of Horrors.
Robin Reese
One of my favorites. We read it in high school and saw a movie version. I fell in love with the character!
Alëna Citrus
"Rapace" in italian stands for "predatory, greedy". It can also refer to birds of prey, and therefore represent Rappaccini's fierce dedication to science. Doctor Rappaccini is described as a brilliant professional, specialized in distilling plants to make medicine. The flowers that Rappaccini studies so carefully are "sisters" to his daughter. She is his successor, and also, in a way, a product of his hard labor. Beatrice symbolizes the legacy the Doctor strives to leave to the world. In that, s ...more
Anna Guedes
Escolhi essa novela depois de ler que Beatrice — a filha de Rappaccini — inspirou ao mesmo tempo duas supervilãs, a personagem Era Venenosa (Poison Ivy, da DC Comics) e a filha de Monica Rappaccini (inspirada no Dr. Rappaccini), Carmila Black (da Marvel) :D

Giovanni é um universitário italiano que se muda pra Pádua para estudar com um grande amigo de seu pai, o professor Pietro Baglioni. Ele acaba indo morar numa pensão vizinha ao Dr. Rappaccini, um cientista proscrito da comunidade por seus trab
Hayley Bricker
I personally dislike Hawthorne quite a bit. I don't like his writing style, and how he follows such a formulaic outline with his writing. I feel set up for the ending right from the beginning. I hate that. Maybe it works for some people, but I personally like twists and turns in my literature, which is something that heavily lacked when I read this. I understand that Hawthorne was a pioneering Romantic, but I really don't think his pieces held much intrigue. Right from the beginning, I knew what ...more
Not really a review, but rather from my notes whilst reading:

Reminds me of Stoker's Judge's House. A young gentleman leaves his home town, and stays at an inn. The chambermaid comes in, and bids him adieu. He gets curious and looks around, and encounters something supernatural. The theme of the gardener and the "mystical" garden (of potent, charming medicines) reminds me of The Rose Garden by M.R James.

The author compares the garden to Eden and the man to Adam. The daughter likes the flowers w
Anna Simek
"It was not love, although her rich beauty was a madness to him; nor horror, even while he fancied her spirit to be imbued with some baneful essence that seemed to pervade her physical frame; but a wild offspring of both love and horror that had each a parent in it, and burned like one and shivered like the other."

**swoon** what a beautifully written story.
Dhanaraj Rajan
In it we have a collection of three short stories written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Among the three the first one (the title story) is one of the best and that can be given 5 stars. Rappaccini's Daughter can be read in many ways - a sci-fi story, a thriller, a love story, etc. At most, it is an allegory (at least that is what I liked it most). An allegory which says that you become what you eat (you become what you think); an allegory that says that excessive and an uncontrolled dedication into a ...more
Ana Rînceanu
Having read Rappaccini's Daughter earlier this year, my opinion of it has not changed: it's an interesting allegory, but it's too slow for me. The same can be said for the third story in this collection, A Select Party has an interesting setting of a castle in the sky where lofty ideals are unraveled, but I've read better morality stories. The story I did like was Young Goodman Brown because I could feel the tension in the narrator's voice as Goodman Brown looses faith. I can't help but be influ ...more
H.L. Stephens
This story kept my up all night thinking about it the very first time I read it and that was decades ago. To this day, I still linger over the story with fond affection and return to its wondrous pages, amazed by the brilliance and darkness which were woven together in one innocent tale.
Aditya Mallya
'Rappacini's Daughter' shares some similarities with another of Hawthorne's short stories, 'The Birthmark', although it is more compellingly written. We also have this story to thank for inspiring the character of Poison Ivy in the 'Batman' comics.
Patrick T
Nothing like reading a good classic to start off your morning. I really enjoyed this story,I may be the first to say this but I felt that the lust was dragged out that, it actually lost lust if this makes any sense. I love reading stories that were written in the late 1800's the structure and formality is beautiful!
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Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T
More about Nathaniel Hawthorne...
The Scarlet Letter The House of the Seven Gables Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories Young Goodman Brown The Minister's Black Veil

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“There is something truer and more real, than what we can see with the eyes, and touch with the finger.” 58 likes
“How often is it the case that, when impossibilities have come to pass and dreams have condensed their misty substance into tangible realities, we find ourselves calm, and evenly coldly self-possessed, amid circumstances which it would have been a delirium of joy or agony to anticipate!” 8 likes
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