Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun mingles fable with fact in a mysterious tale of American artists liberated from New England mores in Rome. In his introduction, Andrew Delbanco remarks that Hawthorne's novel is ultimately less about freedom than its costs. It is a book "that invites us to observe people in the grip of guilt, passion, or a naive faith in God or art, and to watch them seek escape from their fears and doubts as their creed-whatever it is-fails them." The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of The Marble Faun in The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Since 1959 The John Harvard Library has been instrumental in publishing essential American writings in authoritative editions.