The Blithedale Romance (1852) is a novel by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is the third major ”romance”, as he called the form. Its setting is a utopian farming commune based on Brook Farm, of which Hawthorne was a founding member and where he lived in 1841. The novel dramatizes the conflict between the commune's ideals and the members' private desires and romantic rivalries.
The story takes place primarily in the utopian community of Blithedale, presumably in the mid-1800s. The story begins with a conversation between Miles Coverdale and Old Moodie, a character who reappears throughout the story. The legend of the mysterious Veiled Lady is introduced; she is a popular clairvoyant who disappears unannounced from the social scene. Coverdale then makes the voyage to Blithedale Farm, where he is introduced to such characters as Zenobia and Mr. and Mrs. Silas Foster. At their first community dinner, they are interrupted by the arrival of Hollingsworth, a previous acquaintance of Coverdale, along with a frail, pale girl of unknown age. Though Hollingsworth believes the girl is an expected guest, none of the Blithedale citizens recognize her. She immediately develops a strong attachment to Zenobia, and reveals her name to be Priscilla...