"Howard opened the velvet and there, looking as new as the day it was printed, the pages uncut, was a copy of The Scarlet Letter. Howard opened the book."

 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850.  It is a romantic novel, set in puritanical Boston of 1642, that explores the consequences endured by Hester Pyrnne when she has an adulterous affair and bears a child.  It was one of the first mass-produced books in America; the first mechanized printing of 2,500 volumes sold out within ten days. In 1995 it was made into a movie starring Demi Moore and Robert Duval.