The Great Stone Face by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1998 first edition illustrated by Greg Dearth.


Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Adapted by Penelope J. Stokes. Illustrated by Greg Dearth. First edition, 1998. ChariotVictor Publishing, a Division of Cook Communications.

"Late one afternoon, just as the sun was going down, a child sat with his mother in the doorway of their cottage, looking up at the mountains. Birds flitted across the valley, singing their evensong. Above them, rugged cliffs rose to meet the darkening sky, silent and strong and familiar. The descending sun sent a shaft of crimson light over the valley and played across the cliffs to the east.

"Ernest - for that was the boy's name - squeezed his mother's hand and pointed to the mountains. "Look, Mother!" he whispered. "The Great Stone Face is coming to life!"

The Great Stone Face, a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850. Ernest lives in a valley, resembling an area of New Hampshire, where a natural rock formation resembles a human face. Ernest believes in a prophecy, attributed to local Native Americans, that says someone born in the valley, who will look like the Great Stone Face, will be the noblest person of his time. Ernest spends his life waiting for this person to appear, while observing and learning from various candidates who visit the valley, such as a wealthy merchant, a famous general, a renowned poet, and a statesman. However, none of them match the likeness or the character of the Great Stone Face. Ernest grows old and becomes a respected and beloved teacher and preacher in his community. One day, as he delivers a sermon to a large crowd, the setting sun casts a glow on his face that makes it resemble the Great Stone Face. The people realize that Ernest is the fulfillment of the prophecy, and that he has become noble and wise by emulating the virtues of the Great Stone Face.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was an American novelist and short story writer, known for his allegorical and symbolic tales that explore the themes of history, morality, and religion. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, from a family with a Puritan background. He changed the spelling of his surname from Hathorne to Hawthorne to distance himself from his ancestors. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 and published his first novel, Fanshawe, in 1828. He wrote several novels, such as The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852), as well as many short stories.
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Condition: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Very light shelf wear; small closed tear on the back, bottom left corner; very lightly bumped at back corners; small crease at head of the spine. Illustrated cover boards with black cloth spine. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete. Pop-up elements are intact and working, complete with Parade Map and unopened confetti.

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