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The House of the Seven Gables (Signet Classics) [Paperback]

By Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author)
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Item Number 424137  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.96" Width: 4.22" Height: 0.49"
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2001
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
ISBN  0451527917  
EAN  9780451527912  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The curse of Matthew Maule, a man hanged for witchcraft, descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house, in this 150th anniversary edition of the classic American novel. Reprint.

Buy The House of the Seven Gables (Signet Classics) by Nathaniel Hawthorne from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780451527912 & 0451527917

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More About Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of proud New England seafarers. He lived in genteel poverty with his widowed mother and two young sisters in a house filled with Puritan ideals and family pride in a prosperous past. His boyhood was, in most respects, pleasant and normal. In 1825 he was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and he returned to Salem determined to become a writer of short stories. For the next twelve years he was plagued with unhappiness and self-doubts as he struggled to master his craft. He finally secured some small measure of success with the publication of his Twice-Told Tales (1837). His marriage to Sophia Peabody in 1842 was a happy one. The Scarlet Letter (1850), which brought him immediate recognition, was followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851). After serving four years as the American Consul in Liverpool, England, he traveled in Italy; he returned home to Massachusetts in 1860. Depressed, weary of writing, and failing in health, he died on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Ross C. Murfin, professor of English at and former provost of Southern Methodist University, has also taught at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and the University of Miami, where he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of such books as Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence and the Burden of Belief and The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence: Texts and Contexts. He is coauthor, with Supryia Ray, of The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms (second edition) and series editor of Bedford/St. Martin's popular Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.


Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in Salem, in the state of Massachusetts. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 and died in 1864.

Nathaniel Hawthorne has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bantam Classics

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Overall an interesting read  Dec 29, 2009
I have never read anything quite like this book. The authors style is very different and amazing. He is so descriptive. Every scene, every event, every little detail is written about in such a away that you know really start to connect with this time, place and people. This is also the books down fall. When it takes 3 pages to describe Clifford sitting at the window, it is hard not to get exhausted reading it. It took me over a year to finish this book because I kept having to stop and read something else for a change of pace. I mean really it is over 300 pages about a couple of shut-in's and their history. Nothing really happened until the last 40 pages or so. But to the books credit, I kept coming back, it was interesting how history and life can affect someone and I wanted to see how it turned out. I would only reccomend the book to an avid reader and someone who enjoy's classics. If you need suspense, romance or action, this is not the book for you.
A time capsule  Oct 27, 2009
Wordy, pedantic, familial soap-opera... yes, yes, and yes.

As much is made of Hawthorne's mastery of the English language, his style doesn't translate to the modern reader terribly well in The House of the Seven Gables. Many reviews here criticize the slow-moving story line, frequent digressions, and over-abundance of adjectives. Be that as it may, it's a wonderful period view of New England society. I, too, found the first half to be difficult going much of the way, but the detailed snapshot of life in the mid-19th century kept me going.

It's not a horror story, it's a time capsule.
My favorite Hawthorn so far...  Jan 14, 2009
So far this is my favorite Hawthorn novel, although to say that is deceiving. I have only read "The House of the Seven Gables" and "The Scarlet Letter" which I loathed... even seeing the cover of the "Scarlet Letter" brings on waves of nausea which only large quantities of sunshine and a good dose of trashy horror novels can cure. But that was long ago, and I am a much more mature reader now, besides, people call this a horror novel.

They Lie.

This is not a horror novel... It's some sort of family drama/morality tale with a smattering of bad romance thrown in. So is it terrible? No, Hawthorn does have a way with words... but I also believe that he thinks his readers have the short term memory of a melon, therefore he has a tendency to continually bash the reader over the head with an idea until he is absolutely positive that even a mouth breathing troglodyte will not only understand, but also have it burned into the interior of their skull.

Short Summary: Loooong ago a maniacal Puritan leader by the name of Pyncheon falsely executed a local by the name of Matthew Maule by claiming he was a wizard and in league with the devil. As he was hung, Maule uttered a curse on both Pyncheon and his descendents. Pyncheon then takes over Maule's land, plows his house under and builds his own enormous dwelling on top of it - a house with Seven Gables. Flash forward to the 19th century and we have the descendants of Pyncheon, still living in the house and suffering as their family's wealth, status and sanity have dwindled to almost nothing. The elderly Hepzibah Pyncheon(that's a female name by the way) is forced to open a penny shop to try to bring food in. Enter Pheobe Pyncheon, a niece who has come to stay with Hepzibah and is full of life and vitality. They run the shop, do some gardening and entertain Clifford (Hepzibah's brother) all the while living in fear of their cousin Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon who seems to want something from them.

There were some parts of this book I enjoyed, and the over all concept was interesting... the sins of the father shall be paid for by the sons, but there is a lot that is left unexplained. And the reader is never sure if there truly is a curse or if the fear of a curse is what has kept the Pyncheon family down for all of these generations. Their sense of pride is almost a physical character in the book. In truth there is only one likeable character in the book, and that's Pheobe... and Hawthorn is so determined to make us like her that he goes on and on about everything she does, how she looks, how bloody cheerful she is, how everything is better as long as Pheobe is around... to the point that the reader hopes a ghost either gets her so that we don't have to read any more about her or grabs the rest of the household so that she can live in peace.

I understand the historical significance of Hawthorn's works, and his mastery of the language. However this particular book becomes almost as suffocating as the house itself, dreary, stifling, repetitious and sadly... the reader may find themselves searching for a way to escape (much as Clifford does)... lucky for us the escape is much easier than it is for the characters. There are other classics that I would recommend before digging into this one. It's not a difficult read, after the first 15 pages or so the language clicks and you can read it quite easily... it's just not an overly exciting read, nor is it an overly rewarding read.
An extremely interesting story  Mar 6, 2008
"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." And this solid and antique house contains many things - memories of those who lived and died there, and the terrible secrets that haunted those long dead, and haunt the living to this very day. This is the story of Hepzibah Pyncheon, an old maid who carries the weight of the past like a millstone about here neck; Clifford Pyncheon, whose past has left him a broken and haunted old man; Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, a veritable echo of all that is good and bad in the Pyncheons; Phoebe Pyncheon, an unspoiled country cousin who finds herself sucked into the mysteries contain in the dark and sinister house; and finally Holgrave, a daguerreotypist and an outsider, perhaps the only one who truly knows the secrets of the House of the Seven Gables.

This is a classic of American literature, written in 1851, when railway trains were still a novel and exciting invention, when spiritualism was the rage, and when mesmerism had everyone...well, mesmerized. It was also a time when books came out slowly from the presses, and people expected long, flowing books that gave them more for their money and kept them entertained through the long pre-TV days. As such, it must be admitted that the modern criticism that the book is ponderous or slow-moving, does have some justification.

But, in spite of that, if you can keep at this book, you will find yourself rewarded with an extremely interesting story, a mystery set in a strange setting that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed reading the deep and winding plot, watching the mysteries unravel in a seemly inevitable manner, like doom itself. I really enjoyed this book, and don't hesitate to recommend it!
Hawthorne as Dark Humorist  Feb 19, 2008
This isn't exactly a page turner, for that you should check out Hawthorne's short stories. However, the writing here is very good and the story is interesting. What struck me most of all about this book, however, is how funny it is. Not funny in a joke-cracking way, knee-slapping kind of way, but Hawthorne has a very dark sense of humor, and in this book he deals with dark themes like death, curses, witchcraft, and old age in a surprisingly humorous and deadpan manner. He writes the best death scenes! I don't want to give away any details, but you need to look past the image of Hawthorne as a stuffy dead white guy in order to appreciate this book.

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