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The House of the Seven Gables (1851)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,892108926 (3.51)1 / 380
First published in 1851, The House of the Seven Gables is one of Hawthorne's defining works, a vivid depiction of American life and values replete with brilliantly etched characters. The tale of a cursed house with a " mysterious and terrible past" and the generations linked to it, Hawthorne's chronicle of the Maule and Pyncheon families over two centuries reveals, in Mary Oliver's words, " lives caught in the common fire of history." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition uses the definitive text as prepared for The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne; this is the Approved Edition of the Center for Scholarly Editions (Modern Language Association). It includes newly commissioned notes on the text.… (more)
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» See also 380 mentions

English (104)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
4/26/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 26, 2022 |
Known as a "classic", I finally read this book and it was not easy. Very wordy in a 19th century manner. Very flowery. and repetitious. The story does give insight into 19th century society, social prejudice.
I think that this could be rewritten into an impactful short story. Take out the repetitious flowery prose, including nearly entire chapters about the chickens in the garden and the life certain people. Keeping to the thread of the story- the sad life of the protagonists and why life is so hard for them, would make them more interesting and relatable.
Anyway. I don't know why this is still a book that "we" are told is a must read, unless a person is studying this style of prose or the life of people of that time period. ( )
  PallanDavid | Dec 17, 2021 |
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 |
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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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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.)
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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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First published in 1851, The House of the Seven Gables is one of Hawthorne's defining works, a vivid depiction of American life and values replete with brilliantly etched characters. The tale of a cursed house with a " mysterious and terrible past" and the generations linked to it, Hawthorne's chronicle of the Maule and Pyncheon families over two centuries reveals, in Mary Oliver's words, " lives caught in the common fire of history." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition uses the definitive text as prepared for The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne; this is the Approved Edition of the Center for Scholarly Editions (Modern Language Association). It includes newly commissioned notes on the text.

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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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