The Blithedale Romance


Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Blithedale Romance: Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Coverdale notes that he hasn’t been a very prominent figure in his own story—he has very little to tell. He left Blithedale a week after they buried Zenobia and hasn’t returned since. Sometimes he thinks fondly of his time there and all that Blithedale was supposed to become. Coverdale writes that if any of the original founders were still there, he might consider joining them to enjoy the final years of his life. Unfortunately, the community ultimately failed and only paupers are there now. After leaving, Coverdale traveled extensively, but he never married. He leaves social reformation to others but insists that if he found a cause worth dying for then he’d be willing to do so. Still, he hasn’t changed all that much. He has one secret to reveal that might explain his disappointing life and shed new light on his past behavior: he was in love with Priscilla.
Coverdale’s ultimate revelation of his love for Priscilla explains why he felt so compelled to save her and took such a serious interest in her past. However, Zenobia’s earlier accusation that he would never fall in love with Priscilla because she’s so far below him socially leaves the reader to question if this is why Coverdale never seemed to actively pursue Priscilla. On the other hand, he might have kept his distance because he knew that Priscilla loved Hollingsworth and Coverdale just didn’t want to endure the pain of rejection. Coverdale’s love for Priscilla is also why he saw an analogy between himself and Zenobia when Hollingsworth and Priscilla left together—they did both lose someone they loved deeply.
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