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The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables (Paperback) by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author)

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Summary

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The wealthy Colonel Pyncheon covets the carpenter Mathew Maule's land. A few years later, during the witch hysteria in Salem, Maule is brought before a judge on witchcraft charges and is sentenced to death. Before his execution, Maule curses the Pyncheon family. The Colonel, undaunted, continues to build an extravagant house on Maule's property. After the house is finished, however, the Colonel is found dead, and the property deed is missing. More than 200 years later, we meet the family in its decaying, gabled mansion, still haunted by the presence of dead ancestors: Hepzibah, an elderly gentlewoman fallen on hard times; her ineffectual brother, Clifford; and young Phoebe, a country maiden who cheerfully takes it upon herself to care for her two doddering relations. There's also Holgrave, a free-spirited daguerreotypist, who makes a surprising transformation into conventional respectability. Hawthorne's masterful tales describe the brooding hold of the past over the present, twisting and turning through many generations of a venerable New England family. A true classic of American literature. Newly designed and typeset for easy reading by Boomer Books.

Contemporary Review

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Meanwhile, here is a short contemporary review that appeared in the May 1851 issue of The United States Democratic review:

THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES: A Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ticknor, Reed & Fields, Boston.

The reputation of Mr. Hawthorne is sufficiently established and widely known, to procure for any stories of his production a large and eager circle of readers. His delineations, of New-England manners, conversations and language, are governed by good taste in avoiding to adulterate the conversations of ordinary people with idioms and barbarisms, which rarely have existence in New-England. That the works of Mr. Hawthorne will go down to other generations, conveying a truthful picture of the manners of our times, there can he no doubt. He occupies the first rank among the imaginative writers of the day, and his productions are not excelled here or elsewhere.


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