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The House of the Seven Gables


The House of the Seven Gables


For over 150 years, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables has captivated critics and readers alike. In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, brooding mansion haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the Pyncheon family. Is the house haunted? Is the family doomed?

The house was built on ground unlawfully seized from its rightful owner, Matthew Maule, by Colonel Pyncheon, who accused Maule of practicing witchcraft and had him executed. According to legend, Maule laid a curse upon the Pyncheon family; and indeed during the house-warming festivities, Colonel Pyncheon was found dead in his armchair.

His portrait remains in the house as an everlasting reminder of its sinister past and the presence of the curse in the spirit of the house and its inhabitants.

One of the finest early American novels, Hawthorne colors his tale with suggestions of witchcraft and the supernatural, and his work is known to have had a strong influence on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft.

Published in 1851, The House of the Seven Gables is considered a masterpiece of American literature and a work Henry James declared, “the closest approach we are likely to have to the Great American Novel.”


NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864), one of the greatest authors of the nineteenth century, transformed the art of fiction. The author of numerous novels and short stories, including The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, he was an acknowledged master of the form, and admired for his explorations of ancestral sin, guilt, and the concept of justice.



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