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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel…
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The House of the Seven Gables (original 1851; edition 2010)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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5,36475817 (3.54)1 / 258
Member:JayHurst
Title:The House of the Seven Gables
Authors:Nathaniel Hawthorne
Info:Applewood Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Read and Stored on Kindle
Rating:***
Tags:Bernards Township Library Book Club

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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)

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Several years ago, I went on a trip to Salem, Massachusetts and right as we were getting on the airplane my best friend's mom gave me a copy of The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. You might be completely confused about why this would be the best reading material for a quick airplane trip from Alabama to Massachusetts so allow me to shed some light on the situation for you. The story is all about the Pyncheon family and their gabled house in Salem (which is an actual home that you should all visit). The matriarch of the family, Hepzibah, has been forced to open a small shop in the house to supplement their income after her brother, Clifford, is released from prison for a crime which he has always maintained he did not commit. A distant cousin, Phoebe, joins their ranks just as they taken on a lodger by the name of Holgrave who mostly keeps to himself. An estranged cousin who is a Judge in town is a malevolent spirit on the fringes of their lives. There is a legend surrounding the family that they are cursed and that is why misfortune has seemed to follow them since the family home was acquired. It's a classic example of Gothic literature with a supernatural twist of the occult. If you're hesitant to give it a shot because of The Scarlet Letter (which I honestly wouldn't blame you for as I really didn't like that novel myself), I strongly encourage you to make an exception. It's a really fantastic book with a swiftly moving plot that is full of intrigue, romance, and familial drama. ( )
  AliceaP | Aug 21, 2015 |
The following quote is from the Introduction by Marion Merrill, Head of the Dept of English at Somerville High School.
"Hawthorne early fancied he might like a literary life. In a boyish letter to his mother he said, 'I do not want to be a doctor and live by men's diseases, nor a minister and live by their sins, or a lawyer and live by their quarrels: so I don't see there is anything left for me but to be an author. How would you like, some day, to see a whole shelf of books written by your son, with Hawthorne's Works printed on their backs?' "
  TrysB | May 24, 2015 |
The only reason I gave it three stars was the author's outstanding command of English prose. As a novel this book was insufferably boring. It took me two weeks to finish it. A work of this small size normally takes me a few days. ( )
  eruditescythian | Apr 15, 2015 |
The dark and suppressive nature of a Hawthorne novel is not new to our group. We read The Scarlet Letter a few years ago, so there were no big surprises this month with our return visit to this American classic writer.
It could be the time of year, but most struggled to complete this (what some described as tedious) novel and were at odds to comprehend exactly where Hawthorne meant to go with it. The plot seemed non-existent, which didn’t help getting you through the monotonous rambling descriptions Hawthorne so loves.
We discussed the style that seemed so popular in the day and compared its likeness to Dickens and Bronte. In a time when there was little in the way of visual entertainment, novels of this sort would have been an important diversion from everyday life. So Hawthorne’s long and illustrative narrative may well be daunting to us modern readers, but we can see how it worked in a time of romance novels (when in fact all novels were considered ‘romance’).
The term ‘gothic’ was also bantered around and Cathy, who did not think she would take to this book, found herself quite enjoying this dark, boding tale and believes she could be reading one of the first gothic novels written.
In the end, we decided Hawthorne was able to weave an exemplary kind of magic with his words (his many, many words) and that alone is worthy of consideration, and a read.
1 vote DaptoLibrary | Dec 21, 2014 |
This gothic novel is as much about the setting of the creepy old house as it is about the characters. The building of the house of the seven gables by colonel Pyncheon at the expense of the Maule family begins generations of bad luck for the Pyncheons. When we meet the family, there are only a few members left and things are looking bleak for the continuation of the family line. Hawthorne creates a suspenseful mystery around the family and very slowly reveals answers.

I really enjoyed this book. The language was flowery and gothic without being silly and I thought the pacing, while admittedly drawn out, was appropriate. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 20, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawthorne, Nathanielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, NathanielAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, Van WyckIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colby, Homer W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, Cathy N.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fogle, Richard HarterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furst, ClydeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lathrop, George ParsonsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacEwen, MaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffett, H. Y.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peters, DonadaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirmer, DukeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Milton R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Half-way down a by-street of one of our New England towns, stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst.
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This is the main work for The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
ISBN 0809598752 is a Wildside Press publication.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553212702, Mass Market Paperback)

In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family. Mysterious deaths threaten the living. Musty documents nestle behind hidden panels carrying the secret of the family’s salvation—or its downfall.

Hawthorne called The House of the Seven Gables “a Romance,” and freely bestowed upon it many fascinating gothic touches. A brilliant intertwining of the popular, the symbolic, and the historical, the novel is a powerful exploration of personal and national guilt, a work that Henry James declared “the closest approach we are likely to have to the Great American Novel.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:13 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The curse of Matthew Maule descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house.

(summary from another edition)

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