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Book The House of the Seven Gables (The Penguin American Library)


The House of the Seven Gables (The Penguin American Library)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The House of the Seven Gables (The Penguin American Library).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Nathaniel Hawthorne(Author),Milton R. Stern(Introduction)

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FThis enduring novel of crime and retribution vividly reflects the social and moral values of New England in the 1840s. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne's gripping psychological drama concerns the Pyncheon family, a dynasty founded on pious theft, who live for generations under a dead man's curse until their house is finally exorcised by love. Hawthorne, by birth and education, was instilled with the Puritan belief in America's limitless promise. Yet - in part because of blemishes on his own family history - he also saw the darker side of the young nation. Like his twentieth-century heirs William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hawthorne peered behind propriety's façade and exposed the true human condition.

"A large and generous production, pervaded with that vague hum, that indefinable echo, of the whole multitudinous life of man, which is the real sign of a great work of fiction."—Henry James 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.

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Review Text

  • By P. Giorgio on January 19, 2016

    You gotta like this style of writing or don't take it on. It's very ponderous and plodding. It's preachy -- Hawthorne's ideas of right and wrong are very specific. He has little respect for folks who don't take the well-worn path, and he uses his literary genius to preach his version of good and evil His genius is in his use of language, and the story, while not deep, may cause some reflection. So, why read it? Because the language is stunning, Hawthorne's stories represent the times very well, and in their simplicity, one can absorb the culture of the times. (also see "The Scarlet Letter").

  • By Daniel Myers on January 21, 2013

    This splendid novel of Hawthorne's is, essentially, a dark,brooding, Gothic tale penned in typically gloriously ornate Victorian prose with a happy ending to it all. I really must say that the readers complaining about the lush prose should try broadening their horizons just a bit beyond the bare-bones. minimalist airport paperbacks to which they have so obviously grown accustomed. Read George Eliot (real name Mary Ann Evans), Charlotte or Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy etc etc etc. Don't let your minds be bound and enslaved to the here and now. Books like this one are such marvellous time machines if you allow yourself to discover that, quoth Emily Dickinson, "There is no frigate like a book" for transporting you to lands and sensibilities far away.That being said, the plaudits of the positive reviewers have covered the plot of the story and the curse of the Pyncheon family and their eponymous gabled mansion quite well. It only remains for me to add what I found of personal significance in the novel. My favourite character in the novel is the highly-strung, greatly-wronged, poetically-attuned character of Clifford Pyncheon as described in the chapter "The Pyncheon Garden" which ends thus:"Alas, poor Clifford! You are old, and worn with troubles that ought never to have befallen you. You are partly crazy, and partly imbecile; a ruin, a failure, as almost everybody is - though some in less degree, or less perceptibly, than their fellows. Fate has no happiness in store for you; unless your quiet home in the old family residence, with the faithful Hepzibah, and your long summer-afternoons with Phoebe, and those Sabbath festivals with Uncle Venner and the Daguerreotypist, deserve to be called happiness! WHY NOT? If not the thing itself, it is marvellously like it, and the more so for that ethereal and intangible quality, which causes it all to vanish, at too close an introspection. Take it, therefore, while you may. Murmur not - question not-but make the most of it."Whilst "The Pyncheon Garden" represents well the idyllic light in the play of light and shadow that constitutes the tale, the chapter entitled "Governor Pyncheon" is more powerful and more fully represents the darkness that hangs even in the background of the Pyncheon Garden chapter until it is dispelled at the end. I'll only quote one harrowing line from this thanatopsis on what happens when the soul departs the body so as to leave the intrigued reader to discover the rest:"Where is our universe? All crumbled away from us; and we, adrift in chaos, may hearken to the gusts of homeless wind, that go sighing and murmuring about, in quest of what was once a world!"The book does have a rather contrived ending that detracts from it as a work of art, but which does serve as relief after all the funereal ponderings. All told, a tale that will tear you quite out of the 21st century, if only you dare to let it.

  • By LouAnn LaJeunesse on February 11, 2015

    I became a fan of classic literature in grade school. My love of reading was enhanced by my fourth grade teacher, Mrs Carpenter. She challenged me to read a bit beyond the norm for a fourth grader. One of my first "Above and Beyond" reads was this very novel. If you love classic literature, you will love this book. If you want to read a book very quickly you will not appreciate it as much. You need to be someone who wants to immerse yourselef into a place, time and the characters. Will you feel that therre were ghosts in the house or was it purely in the imagination. I highly recommend this book to a lover of the classics. I would also recommend it to smeone who has a bit of patience and wants to try a genre they are not usually reading in.

  • By Carol Smith on October 1, 2014

    The writing style of the author which is from a different age. Ittakes a while to get use to reading. The author uses a lot ofsymbolism within his story.The House of Seven Gable is based upon Salem and itshistorical events. The house itself is dark & gloomy whichcreates a spooky atmosphere. There is a limited number ofcharacters all created to symbolize the good and the bad andthe old generation effects the new generation. This is a story ofwitchcraft, curses, murder, greed, wealth and supernaturalelements mixed with some romance.My favorite part of the story is the flower garden and the wayit affects the various characters.An oldie but goodie!!

  • By HardyBoy64 on March 22, 2012

    I became interested in this novel when my wife learned that she is a direct relative of the man who owned the house which inspired Hawthorne to write this book.I was not disappointed with the novel and I quite enjoyed the dark and mysterious tone to it. Perhaps the modern reader won't have the patience to wade through Hawthorne's meandering prose. I admit that this book takes patience but look beyond and you'll recogize the beautiful elements that make it a classic in American literature. In a historical context, his writing is crisp and evocative as he hangs on to the romantic elements in literature. I realized while reading the book that the enjoyment is not to race to the end and see what happens but rather to enjoy the flowery prose and sensorial descriptions. The story is quite simple but involves multiple generations of a family doomed by a suspicious curse flung at them by the disguntled landowner of the plot on which the famous house with the seven gables was built. The "Deus ex machina" ending seems hokey to modern readers but in 19th century literature was virtually expected and highly appreciated. If you're willing to take the time to appreciate this novel, then I recommend it to you.

  • By Therese Kotch on June 29, 2016

    I had never read this book before and I love reading the classics. Mr. Hawthorne was extremely verbose in this novel. The story line was interesting but there was so much description of every minute detail of the house, the garden, how people were dressed, etc. The descriptions did paint a picture but I wish he had moved the plot along a bit more quickly. Then he wraps everything up in a neat little package in the last chapter which was disappointing. He took so long to tell the story, I wish he had taken longer to reveal all that was to be revealed. But who am I to criticize Nathaniel Hawthorne?

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