The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables, a fixture in Hawthorne's Salem, serves as the ancestral home of the fictional Pyncheon family-whose distinguished legacy is tainted by pious thievery. When country cousin Phoebe arrives at the house, she is like a cool breeze, refreshing a room that has been sealed for too long. The resulting mixture of dark and light imagery, illustrated by Hawthorne's rich prose, makes this romance an important American classic.

Author Biography

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and made his ambition to be a writer while still a teenager. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, where the poet Longfellow was also a student, and spent several years traveling in New England and writing short stories before his best known novel, The Scarlet Letter, was published in 1850. His writing was not at first financially rewarding, and he worked as measurer and surveyor in the Boston and Salem Custom Houses. In 1853 he was sent to Liverpool as American consul and then lived in Italy before returning to the United States in 1860, where he died in his sleep four years later.

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