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House of the Seven Gables

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book Overview: 

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Hepzibah's first customer, the little cannibal of Jim Crow, who, staring up at the window, was irresistibly attracted by an elephant of gingerbread. What a grand appetite had this small urchin!—Two Jim Crows immediately after breakfast!—and now an elephant, as a preliminary whet before dinner. By the time this latter purchase was completed, the elderly gentleman had resumed his way, and turned the street corner.

"Take it as you like, Cousin Jaffrey," muttered the maiden lady, as she drew back, after cautiously thrusting out her head, and looking up and down the street,—"Take it as you like! You have seen my little shop-window. Well!—what have you to say?—is not the Pyncheon House my own, while I'm alive?"

After this incident, Hepzibah retreated to the back parlor, where she at first caught up a half-finished stocking, and began knitting at it with nervous and irregular jerks; but quickly finding herself at odds . . . Read More

Community Reviews


Why the hell did I pick this up again? Life's too short, you say? You have 200+ other books on your 'to read' shelf and this was sucking your will to read? Give it up! You're right... all of it... and my answer is... my excuse being... because I'm freakin' stubborn. Its Hawthorne .

HAWTHORNE: Look at this old house. *whispers conspiratorially* It’s very scary.

ME: Ooh, why?


ME: Why is it scary?

HAWTHORNE, confused: Well, it’s -- I mean, it’s old, see?

ME: Yes, but why is it scary?

HAWTHORNE: It’s cursed!

ME: How?

HAWTHORNE, getting impatient: It just is, okay? There w

The illustrious Pyncheon family had quite a useful reign, (but that was long ago) its founder Col.Pyncheon a stout, merciless Puritan and able soldier, helped wipe out the scourge the evil threat of the abominable witches, in the honorable Salem trials of 1692. For his just reward he happened by pur

I actually enjoyed this one. Nathaniel Hawthorne has a unique way of writing and I think it he's hit or miss. For instance I didn't care for 'The Scarlett Letter' but I really liked 'Young Goodman Brown'. This story explored themes of guilt and generational sin. I felt all the characters had connect

The House of the Seven Gables – located as it is at 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970 – is today one of the pre-eminent historical attractions of an eminently historic city. Built in 1668, the house, also known as the Turner-Ingersoll mansion, is a treasure of colonial New England archite

This narrative, published in 1850, starts with a preface by Hawthone explaining his concept of the Romance, which is to be distinguished from the Novel because it provides the writer with greater latitude to takes risks. The Novel is somehow more straightforward, more conservative, less flexible as

Note, March 17, 2018: I edited this again slightly, just to change the formatting of a long quotation.

Note, May 14, 2016: I edited this review just now to make a slight factual correction.

During the Salem witch hysteria of 1692, when real-life accused witch Sarah Good was about to hanged, she pointe

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