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The Blithedale Romance
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The principal setting is a communal farm called Blithedale (i.e., "Happy Valley"), a would-be modern Arcadia along the lines of the anti-capitalist ideals of Charles Fourier, yet is nonetheless destroyed by the self-interested behavior of some of its members. Among those members are: Hollingsworth, a monomaniacal philanthropist and confirmed misogynist who intends to turn Blithedale into a colony for the reformation of criminals; Zenobia, a passionate feminist of exotic origin who ironically finds Hollingsworth's misogyny irresistible; Priscilla, a young and impecunious seamstress from the city; and Miles Coverdale, the unreliable narrator, a minor poet and dandy given to acts of voyeurism. An intense friendship develops among these four during the spring and summer, but begins to disinteg...