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Dense, brilliant, entertaining and learned. Montgomery is an old school critic doing textual and contextual analysis, and so he discusses and develops the themes of Hawthorne's spiritual discontent, irony against the Transcendentalism of his age, religious conservatism and poetic freedom in context of the two hundred years of American and Continental literature before him and the hundred and fifty years of literature after him, following his often surprising analyses carefully and meticulously t ...more