4/3/2014

The House of the Seven Gables - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The House of the Seven Gables
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The House of the Seven Gables is a Gothic novel written beginning in mid-1850 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in April 1851 by Ticknor and Fields of Boston. The novel 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 a gabled house in Salem belonging to Hawthorne's cousin Susanna Ingersoll and by ancestors of Hawthorne who had played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The book was well received upon publication and later had a strong influence on the work of H. P. Lovecraft. The House of the Seven Gables has been adapted several times to film and television.

The House of the Seven Gables

Contents
1 Plot 2 Characters 3 Background 4 Major themes 5 Publication history and response 6 Influence 7 Adaptations 8 References 9 External links 9.1 Online editions 9.2 Study Guides 9.3 Essays 9.4 Other
First edition title page. Author Country Language Genre Publisher Publication date Media type ISBN Nathaniel Hawthorne United States English Gothic fiction Ticknor and Fields 1851 Print (Hardback) NA

Plot
The novel is set in the mid-19th century, although it includes glimpses into the history of the house, which was built in the late 17th century. 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 is about to leave prison after serving thirty years for murder. She refuses all assistance from her wealthy but unpleasant cousin, Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon. A distant relative, the lively and pretty young Phoebe, turns up 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.
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Phoebe Pyncheon – Although a Pyncheon. but plans to return soon. although it has long since become worthless as the land is already settled. Clifford stands at the large arched window above the stairs and has a sudden urge to jump upon viewing the mass of humanity passing before him and thinking of his youth lost to prison. the free encyclopedia In between. Her cheerfulness and beauty make the shop a success and charm the reclusive Clifford. Just before she leaves. The romance ends with the characters leaving the old house to start a new life in the countryside.php?title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&printable=yes 2/6 . and indeed during the house warming festivities. This incident. Judge Pyncheon arrives at the house one day and threatens to have Clifford committed to an insane asylum if he does not disclose information regarding mystical "eastern lands" of Maine that the family is rumored to own. unbeknownst to any of the other characters. the deed to which has been lost. Holgrave is discovered to be a descendant of Maule but bears the Pyncheon family no ill will. the founder of the Massachusetts branch of the family. mostly due to his feelings for Phoebe. and the deed is discovered hidden behind the old Colonel's portrait. who had been hanged as a witch at the instigation of the original Colonel Jaffrey Pyncheon in order to gain Maule's property. a descendant of the Pyncheon who built the house of the title. she has opened a cent-shop in the first floor of the house because of the financial ruin of the family. Before Clifford can be brought before the Judge (which. would completely destroy Clifford's sanity). free of the burdens of the past. Matthew Maule. she is from the country and not a member of the Salem aristocracy. she is destitute. Hepzibah and Clifford return shortly. He falls in love with Phoebe. To Phoebe's relief. upon Phoebe's return. Though a member of the upper class. According to legend. She moves in with her Cousin Hepzibah and takes over the shop. certain glimpses are provided at the history of the house and the Pyncheon family. upon his death hour Maule laid a curse upon the Pyncheon family. the Judge mysteriously dies while sitting in the same chair that Colonel Pyncheon had died in. however.4/3/2014 The House of the Seven Gables . coupled with Phoebe's departure — she was the only happy and beautiful thing in the home for the depressed Clifford to dwell on — sends him into a bed-ridden state.org/w/index. At the beginning of the novel. Holgrave – A daguerreotypist who boards at the house. The next day. a descendant of the original Matthew Maule. Pyncheon.wikipedia. when the former was accused of practicing witchcraft and executed. Colonel Pyncheon was found dead in his armchair. Hepzibah and Clifford escape on a train (then a very new form of transport) after the Judge dies. but soon return after the first excitement and thrill of new freedom is gone and they are driven back to the house. John Dalziel and the townsfolk begin to murmur about Phoebe and Clifford's sudden disappearance. by Colonel Pyncheon. it is implied.Wikipedia. Events from past and present throw light on the circumstances which sent Clifford to prison. He is. left ambiguous whether he actually died from the curse or a family-inherent disease. proving his innocence: He was framed for the death of his uncle by Jaffrey. whom she serves as a kind of http://en. (It is. who was desperately looking for the legendary deed around the house at that time. Phoebe returns to her country home for a brief visit. the Judge's body is discovered. 1875 illustration of Clifford Characters Hepzibah Pyncheon – Hepzibah is an unmarried older woman. The house was built on ground unrightfully seized from its rightful owner.) His portrait remains in the house as an everlasting reminder of its dark past and the presence of the curse in the spirit of the house and its inhabitants.

facing towards various points of the compass. he was framed by his own cousin. She falls in love with Holgrave. The street is Pyncheon Street.[1] Major themes http://en. She sang. though Hawthorne also stated that the book was a work of complete fiction. In fact. A mortified Maule realized too late that his petty desire for personal satisfaction had caused the needless death of a beautiful and refined young woman. Ingersoll inspired Hawthorne to write the novel. Background The novel begins: Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house.php?title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&printable=yes 3/6 . however. and she entertained him there often. In appearance and character he so strongly resembles the "original" Colonel Pyncheon.org/w/index.wikipedia. clustered chimney in the midst. The Pyncheon family actually existed and were ancestors of American [1] Massachusetts c. Maule used his powers for selfish revenge.[2] The House of the Seven Gables in Salem. hypnotic trance. danced. In life she was loved by young Matthew Maule. Hawthorne. who built the house. though no such edits were made. Alice Pyncheon – Alice is the haughty beauty whose ghost now haunts the House of The Seven Gables. the purported source of new wealth for the dissolute Pyncheon clan. Susanna Ingersoll. did not base the story on a real family and was surprised that several "Pynchon jackasses" claimed a connection. the house is the old Pyncheon House. House of the Seven Gables in Salem. where he was serving a sentence for the alleged murder of his uncle. the free encyclopedia caretaker. Jaffrey. Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon – He is a well-to-do judge and political aspirant who lives on a comfortable estate out of town.4/3/2014 The House of the Seven Gables . Its seven-gabled state was known to Hawthorne only through childhood stories from his cousin. as it turns out. supposedly to help locate some missing land deeds. He considered changing the fictional family's name or adding a disclaimer in the preface. Alice was subject at any time to Maule's commands. he put her into a deep. Massachusetts — today a museum accompanying a settlement house — was at one time owned by Hawthorne's cousin. and was soon so humiliated that she died of shame. Reportedly. young Maule devised a fiendish trick to enslave her. and laughed like a madwoman in all manner of inappropriate situations. at the time of his visits. Ned Higgins – A young precocious boy who drops by Hepzibah's cent shop every now and then to deplete her supply of gingerbread cookies. After awakening from her trance. 1915 novelist Thomas Pynchon. that some people mistake portraits of the ancestor for the descendant. Uncle Venner – A jovial old man (older than Hepzibah) who is the only neighbor to the Pyncheons still in good standing with them. nearly bed-ridden brother who comes to live in the house after being released from prison. rooted before the door. is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm. of wide circumference. and an elm-tree. he would have seen just three gables due to architectural renovations. In reality. At the behest of her greedy father. Clifford Pyncheon – Clifford is Hepzibah's elderly. When proud Alice spurned the love of the hard-working carpenter.Wikipedia. with seven acutely peaked gables. he is just as vicious and unrelenting as his ancestor in his hunt for a lost land deed. grandson of the original Maule hanged for witchcraft. and a huge. based on no particular house.

" However. the powers of mesmerism) to enchant her. and atonement in this novel. he wrote to his publisher James Thomas Fields that the book was nearly finished. using his wizard powers (or.. though the author complained of his slow progress a month later: "I write diligently.php?title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&printable=yes 4/6 .[10] Hawthorne's friend Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called it "a weird. he states that its moral is that "the wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and. By October. As he forewarned. only to be prevented by the original Maule's ghost and magic. but not so rapidly as I hoped. an opposing theme also emerges."[4] By midJanuary 1851.[8] Two printings were issued in the first month. throwing over her "love's web of sorcery. with The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Meanwhile. "I must not pull up my cabbage by the roots. Similarly. His Pyncheon family carries a great burden — for almost 200 years — as a result of the dishonest. Massachusetts in August 1850. Hawthorne said. He began writing it while living in Lenox. Yet Hawthorne. as ever concerned with the moral and emotional truths behind peoples' actions and appearances.[9] After its publication. Maule's descendant. frequently haunted by the sins of his ancestors in the Salem witch trials." Publication history and response The House of the Seven Gables was Hawthorne's follow-up to his highly successful novel The Scarlet Letter.00 cover price.. retribution. actually does suggest in a number of scenes that the Maule family really are witches. though guilt-ridden with respect to his ancestors' past. wild book.710 copies in its first year (slightly more than The Scarlet Letter in its first year). In the Preface to the novel. I find the book requires more care and thought than the 'Scarlet Letter'". Hawthorne earned 15% in royalties from the $1. throwing back upon the sterner tragedy of the commencement an ethereal light. the overall imaginative framework of the novel itself provides a vehicle for Hawthorne to confront the moral and emotional experience of magic: Holgrave.Wikipedia. the narrator details a phantasm of Colonel Pyncheon's descendants returning to attempt to shake the Colonel's picture off the wall. he had chosen the title and it was advertised as forthcoming."[7] Hawthorne. becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief. Alice Pyncheon is indirectly killed by Maule's grandson. the free encyclopedia Hawthorne.4/3/2014 The House of the Seven Gables . Hawthorne. and doing a few odd jobs that were left incomplete.wikipedia."[8] Fanny Kemble reported that the book caused a sensation in England equal to Jane Eyre. amoral way that the land on which the titular house sits was acquired. a third in May. c. 1848 The House of the Seven Gables was released in the second week of April 1851. more likely.org/w/index. refers to actual witchcraft within the Maule line only within the framing devices of works of the imagination (the incidents above take place within respectively a story written by Holgrave and a dreamlike nighttime reverie hypothesized by the narrator). "only I am hammering away a little on the roof. examines guilt.. totaling 6. "It sold finely and seems to have pleased a good many people".[11] English critic Henry Chorley also noted that. and a dear home-loveliness and satisfaction."[5] He sent the finished manuscript to Fields by the end of the month. like all he writes. by way of hastening its growth. "few will dispute [Hawthorne's] claim to rank amongst the most original and complete novelists that have appeared in modern http://en.[6] His wife Sophia Hawthorne reported to her mother on January 27 that he had read her the ending the night before: "There is unspeakable grace and beauty in the conclusion.[3] He hoped the book would be complete by November but would not push himself to commit to a deadline.. and a fourth in September 1851. gradually enchants Phoebe.

New York: Random House."[12] Some did not agree. Hawthorne: A Life. Conforti. ^ Mellow. 1980: 367. New York: Grove Press.[2] Even so. P. We mean the tragicalness of human thought in its own unbiased. Imagining New England: Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. It was directed by Joe May with a screenplay by Lester Cole. along with "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "Dr.[12] Hawthorne's friend Herman Melville. 2004: 137.4/3/2014 The House of the Seven Gables . The novel was adapted to a 60-minute television production in 1960 for The Shirley Temple Show with Shirley Temple as Phoebe. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. "The book is an affliction". ^ Wineapple. Brenda. who called it "New England's greatest contribution to weird literature" in his essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature". in our opinion. Robert Culp as Holgrave.php?title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&printable=yes 5/6 . Heidegger's Experiment". Brenda. 2001). ISBN 0-365-27602-0 4. New York: Random House. and the artistic execution less perfect" than the author's previous novel. Brenda. 2004: 239. ISBN 0-365-27602-0 8. Seven Gables likely influenced Lovecraft's short stories "The Picture in the House". the characterization more exaggerated. Lovecraft. 2004: 257."[13] A review in the Christian Examiner complained the book was "more complex. ^ Mellow. ISBN 0-8021-1776-7 11. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. George Sanders as Jaffrey and Vincent Price as Clifford.wikipedia. ISBN 0-8129-7291-0 http://en. and Martin Landau as Clifford. ^ McFarland. ISBN 0-365-27602-0 10. ^ Wineapple. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 248–62. Agnes Moorehead as Hepzibah. "The Shunned House" and novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. native. Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times. It was also loosely adapted as one of the three stories in the 1963 film Twice-Told Tales. 2. ^ Mellow. ISBN 0-365-27602-0 6. ISBN 0-8129-7291-0 7. and profounder workings. Hawthorne in Concord.[2] Influence The novel was an inspiration for horror fiction writer H. and the film ends with a double wedding.[14] Adaptations The novel was adapted for the screen in 1940 with Margaret Lindsay as Hepzibah. New York: Random House. 1991: 320. James R. 1980: 351. ^ Miller. James R. We think that into no recorded mind has the intense feeling of the visible truth ever entemored more deeply than into this man's. however. Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times. the free encyclopedia times. Hawthorne: A Life. ^ Mellow.org/w/index. 1980: 368.[16] References 1. Hepzibah and Clifford were made lovers rather than brother and sister. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times. 1980: 353. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. James R. James R. ^ a b Joseph A. James R. Boston critic Edwin Percy Whipple simply called it his "greatest work". "It affects one like a passage through the wards of an insane asylum. praised the book for its dark themes in a letter to the author: There is a certain tragic phase of humanity which. 2004: 238. ISBN 0-8129-7291-0 9. was never ore powerfuly emboied than by Hawthorne. ISBN 0-87745-332-2 5. In this adaptation.Wikipedia. claimed fellow author Catharine Maria Sedgwick. ISBN 0-365-27602-0 3. Philip. ^ a b c Mellow.[15] There was also a silent short in 1910 and a remake in 1967. All three sections featured Vincent Price. Hawthorne: A Life. Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. ^ a b Wineapple. Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times. Edwin Haviland. 1980: 355. Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times.

Inc. ^ Wineapple. p. available at Ria Press (PDF optimized for printing) Study Guides MonkeyNotes study guide (http://pinkmonkey. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.asp) Sparknotes study guide (http://www. William B.riapress. ISBN 0-8129-7291-0 14. Edwin Haviland.sparknotes. Other The House of the Seven Gables Map (http://www. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.com/title/tt0032610/) at IMDB 16. available at Internet Archive (scanned color illustrated books. Hawthorne: A Life.com/lit/sevengables/) Classicnote study guide (http://www. Schultz. Idol.php? title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&oldid=594979274" Categories: 1851 novels Novels set in Massachusetts Novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne 19th-century American novels Novels set in the 19th century This page was last modified on 11 February 2014 at 14:05.com/the_house_of_the_seven_gables_map/map/931206) Retrieved from "http://en. ^ a b Miller. multiple editions and formats) The House of the Seven Gables at Project Gutenberg (plain text) The House of the Seven Gables (http://www.org/ScholarsForum/Illustrations.wikipedia..archive.4/3/2014 The House of the Seven Gables .php? query=title%3ASeven%20Gables%20-contributor%3Agutenberg%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts). (1920). ^ IMDb External links Online editions The House of the Seven Gables (http://www. ^ The House of the Seven Gables (http://www.com/classicnotes/titles/sevengables/) Essays Cairns.imdb.org/w/index. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. ^ S. Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne.com/riapress/product. An H. 1991: 337. Encyclopedia Americana. Jr.php?title=The_House_of_the_Seven_Gables&printable=yes 6/6 . 107.org/w/index. New York: Random House.gradesaver.communitywalk. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Joshi and David E. http://en.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmHouseSeven01. John L. a non-profit organization. By using this site.T. P.wikipedia.. 15. ISBN 0-87745-332-2 13. the free encyclopedia 12. 2004: 232. "House of the Seven Gables".Wikipedia.html).org/search. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press..lasso?productid=103). Illustrations of The House of the Seven Gables: A Help or a Hindrance? (http://hawthorneinsalem. Brenda. additional terms may apply.

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