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House of the Seven Gables (1851)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,498108906 (3.51)1 / 369
The curse of Mathew Maule descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house.
Ghosts (31)
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English (105)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Read this twice ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 27, 2021 |
Oh yes can see why this would bore some people who like fast action and thrills...but apart from a odd repetitive passage,very few indeed found this totally absorbing....the first chapter is the most unfriendly but you do need to understand the past to understand the story fully.
The long passages about the poultry,flowers and atomsphere in the house that others despised I delighted in...and the characters are superb and come alive.Poor old Hepizbah ,many will not understand her perhaps but my goodness I can sympathize with her and tell you that the description of her feelings are spot on. Romantic,spooky,funny,puzzling, wrenchingly sad and melancholy and finally happy by turns.
I am amazed as
I hated The Blythdale Romance ,the only other NH I have read! ( )
  SarahKDunsbee | Aug 2, 2021 |
Follows a New England family and their ancestral home. In the book, Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement, and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft. The setting for the book was inspired by the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, a gabled house in Salem, Massachusetts, belonging to Hawthorne's cousin Susanna Ingersoll, as well as ancestors of Hawthorne who had played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Set in the mid-19th century, but flashbacks to the history of the house, which was built in the late 17th century, are set in other periods. The house of the title is a gloomy New England mansion, haunted since its construction by fraudulent dealings, accusations of witchcraft, and sudden death. The current resident, the dignified but desperately poor Hepzibah Pyncheon, opens a shop in a side room to support her brother Clifford, who has completed a thirty-year sentence for murder. She refuses all assistance from her wealthy but unpleasant cousin, Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon. A distant relative, the lively and pretty young Phoebe arrives and quickly becomes invaluable, charming customers and rousing Clifford from depression. A delicate romance grows between Phoebe and the mysterious attic lodger Holgrave, who is writing a history of the Pyncheon family.

The house was built on ground wrongfully seized from its rightful owner, Matthew Maule, by Colonel Pyncheon, the founder of the Massachusetts branch of the family. Maule was accused of practicing witchcraft and was executed. According to legend, at his death Maule laid a curse upon the Pyncheon family. During the housewarming festivities, Colonel Pyncheon was found dead in his armchair; whether he actually died from the curse or from a congenital disease is unclear. His portrait remains in the house as a symbol of its dark past and the weight of the curse upon the spirit of its inhabitants.

Phoebe arranges to visit her country home, but plans to return soon. Clifford, depressed by his isolation from humanity and his lost youth spent in prison, stands at a large arched window above the stairs and has a sudden urge to jump. The departure of Phoebe, the focus of his attention, leaves him bed-ridden.

Judge Pyncheon arrives at the house hoping to find information about land in Maine, rumored to belong to the family. He threatens Clifford with an insanity hearing unless he reveals details about the land or the location of the missing deed. Clifford is unable to comply. Before Clifford can be brought before the Judge (which would destroy Clifford's fragile psyche), the Judge mysteriously dies while sitting in Colonel Pyncheon's chair. Hepzibah and Clifford flee by train. The next day, Phoebe returns and finds that Holgrave has discovered the Judge's body. The townsfolk begin to gossip about Hepzibah and Clifford's sudden disappearance. Phoebe is relieved when Hepzibah and Clifford return, having recovered their wits. ( )
1 vote Marcos_Augusto | Feb 24, 2021 |
Thought I'd like this one, as I have liked Hawthorne in the past, but it was a pretty big snooze. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mind-set for it. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
i really used to like these old books but they have fallen out of favor with me of late. this ended up being easier to read than it seemed like it was going to be at the beginning. the first chapter was kind of tough (and formal and uninteresting) but then it settled down into smoother language and - while not a particularly interesting story - was easier to read. it never really held my interest, though, and was too wordy for my liking.

this was very much "meh" for me and although i'm interested to reread the scarlet letter just because i feel like i should, i won't be seeking out any of the rest of his novels. i would be open to his short stories, though, because i am interested in what he might be saying and doing, but not in long form apparently.

i thought i could get to like or at least relate to both phoebe and hepzibah (although her name tripped me up until almost the very end) but just never got into it enough to really care about either of them, and certainly not the other characters. i expected this to be spookier but maybe i just wasn't paying close enough attention. and i didn't like how the main characters just suddenly came into wealth and happiness to wrap it up at the end. like he thought he was supposed to make it all come out ok for them before closing it. so very american, i guess. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Oct 15, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (85 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawthorne, Nathanielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angelo, ValentiIllustratorsecondary authorsome 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
Kiepenheuer, Noa ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lathrop, George ParsonsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacEwen, MaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minckwitz, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffett, H. Y.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearce, Roy HarveyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peters, DonadaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirmer, DukeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, Milton R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wineapple, BrendaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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The curse of Mathew Maule descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house.

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Average: (3.51)
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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102065, 1400110793

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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