The House of the Seven Gables (American History Through Literature)
Following the admonishment by his publisher James T. Fields to eschew the type of dreary tone of The Scarlet Letter (1850), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804864) wrote The House of the Seven Gables (1851), a book that Hawthorne described as more difficult to write than The Scarlet Letter but one more in keeping with his own temperament. Writing to Fields on 3 November 1850, Hawthorne states, "I find the book [House] requires more care and thought than the 'Scarlet Letter';lso, I have to wait oftener for a mood. The Scarlet Letter being all in one tone, I had only to get my pitch and could then go on interminably" (Letters, 1843853, p. 371). Later (27 January 1851) Hawthorne noted that he "prefers" The House of the Seven Gables to The Scarlet Letter (Letters, 1843853, p. 386) and on 22 July 1851 conceded to his friend Horatio Bridge that The House of the Seven Gables "is a work more characteristic of my mind, and more proper and natural for me to write, than the Scarlet Letter" (Letters, 1843853, p. 461).
Whether Hawthorne's self-assessment as a writer whose mood is more happy than brooding is disingenuous or sincere, Hawthorne did recognize a natural proclivity toward melancholy as he forced himself to write a happy ending to the novel: "It darkens damnably towards the close, but I shall try hard to pour some setting sunshine over it," he wrote to Fields on 29 November 1850 (Letters, 1843853, p. 376). It is debatable whether the formulaic ending typical of sentimental women's novels, the marriage between Phoebe and Holgrave, is filled with "sunshine," as the reader witnesses a contemplative and "half-melancholy" Holgrave, who realizes that the radical dreams of his youth are about to be over and who finds himself a conservative, longing for the permanence of a house of stone rather than the temporality of a house of wood. In resigning himself to a marriage with Phoebe, he also aligns himself with the avaricious nature of the evil progenitor, Colonel Pyncheon, and his capitalist heir, Judge Pyncheon. Holgrave moves, as tenant, from one Pyncheon household, the House of the Seven Gables, to another, now as owner, of "the elegant country-seat of the late Judge Pyncheon" (p. 314)nd in becoming gentrified will no doubt share the same oppressive attitudes as his erstwhile Pyncheon rivals. Hawthorne's final vision of the status quo seems burdensome compared to Holgrave's earlier dreams of social amelioration. As Neill Matheson asserts, "The conception of history dramatized in The House of the Seven Gables is ultimately a melancholic one, in which the subject unknowingly carried within itself a determinative piece of history" (p. 1). Hawthorne is always concerned with how the past impinges upon the presentnd how difficult it is to escape the influence of the past.
REALISM AND THE ROMANCE
When Hawthorne penned The House of the Seven Gables, he was writing in a genre he had already defined in "The Custom-House" introduction of The Scarlet Letterhat he called the "romance" form. Like other Romantics, Hawthorne believed that the realm of the imagination was more important than rationality, and thus the form he adopts as his genre, the romance, makes the most of poetic license. Hawthorne's accursed characters, like Judge Pyncheon, prefer the head to the heart, whereas the sympathetic characters (like Phoebe) are empowered by the heart. However, as Hawthorne recognizes, there are many passages in The House of the Seven Gables that are fraught with "the minuteness of a Dutch picture," as he writes on 3 November 1850 to J. T. Fields (Letters, 1843853, p. 371)nd hence his affiliation with the school of realists as well as with the Romantics. In his preface to the novel, Hawthorne differentiates clearly between the forms of the romance and the novel, insisting that the romance writer can claim a "certain latitude" (p. 1) not permitted the novelist.
The art form of the daguerreotype, the early form of photography, with its blurry, imprecise, almost otherworldly, renditions of reality, characterizes the tone of the novel. In his preface to The House, Hawthorne describes his artistic style using the language of daguerreotypy (and perhaps unwittingly identifying himself with his protagonist, the daguerreotypist Holgrave): "he may so manage his atmospherical medium as to bring out or mellow the lights and deepen and enrich the shadows of the picture" (p. 1). Critics like Carol Shloss and Susan Williams have noted Hawthorne's use of the daguerreotype (with its duality of light and dark and the duality of realism and magic) as a metaphor for his own art. Hawthorne's preface explains that his style involves "bringing his fancy-pictures almost into positive contact with the realities of the moment" (p. 3). As in The Scarlet Letter, moonlight is important; it is the medium Holgrave uses to tell Phoebe the story of "Alice's Posies," and he admits the power of moonlight to change one's perspectivend even to ameliorate society: "Moonlight, and the sentiment in man's heart, responsive to it, is the greatest of renovators and reformers" (p. 214).
THE BURDEN OF HISTORY AND THE GOTHIC FRAMEWORK OF THE HOUSE
There is no doubt that Hawthorne felt the burden of history as he delved into his own family past. His Puritan great-grandfather had presided over the Salem witch trials, and as if to wash himself of the family sin, Hawthorne had changed his name from "Hathorne" to "Hawthorne" around the time of his graduation from Bowdoin College in 1825. In "The Custom-House" of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne professed himself to be "a citizen of somewhere else" (p. 44), but it is debatable whether Hawthorne could ever remove himself from his ancestral and childhood past in Salem. Even after his move from Salem to Lenox, Massachusetts, he was still involved in scenes of his ancestral home as he wrote The House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne may have been inspired to write The House of the Seven Gables by his earlier visits to the actual House of the Seven Gables (the Turner-Ingersoll House in Salem), inhabited by a second cousin, the reclusive Susannah Ingersoll, who told him many legends about the house and who, through her eccentricity, might have provided the inspiration for Hepzibah's character. The house itself becomes a dominant personality in the romance.
Though Holgrave initially preaches the need for each generation to build its own houses, he finally accepts the traditional country estate of the persecuting Judge Pyncheon as his final abode. Hawthorne intuitively realized that one re-creates one's ancestral home even if one tries to move away from it. He equates houses with the evil of the past: "The evil of these departed years would naturally have sprung up again, in such rank weeds (symbolic of the transmitted vices of society) as are always prone to root themselves about human dwellings" (p. 86). In his historical fiction, Hawthorne often tries to come to terms with a national past that is dark and personally humiliating. For him, the fallen Eden was already etched deep in America's past.
The conflict that precipitates the feud between the Maules and the Pyncheons is not really a landownership debate between the white European settlers. The original crime is the dispossession of Indian landsoth the Maules and Pyncheons participated in this usurpation of Indian territory. Though Maule feels wronged when Pyncheon claims his land, the only rightful owner of the PyncheonMaule land is the Native American. Though the mystery of the missing Indian deed is solved at the end of the novel when Holgrave discovers it (p. 316), the sense of entitlement is spurious, according to Timothy B. Powell, who points out that the Indian deed being ultimately "worthless" reflects the "legal debate about white entitlement which erupted during Hawthorne's lifetime" (p. 35), a conflict that finally showed whites, to their dismay, that they were "colonizers" (p. 36). Brook Thomas discusses Hawthorne's indirect indictment of the Maules, as he emphasizes their similarities to the Pyncheons: "To be sure, Hawthorne never explicitly accuses the Maules of stealing the land from the Indians," but he does show that the "Maules' claim to the land is based on a fictional foundation, an imagined moment outside of history" (p. 73).
Discussion of the Maules or Pyncheons as legal claimants is presented by other historicist critics such as Walter Benn Michaels and Milette Shamir, who, along with Thomas, address the contemporary national debate about property rights. Michaels suggests that there is "a parallel between romance and the property rights of impoverished aristocrats" (p. 93). In the 1840s and 1850s, says Michaels, the national debate was raging about legal possession of land and "the land for the landless" campaign that eventually resulted in the Homestead Act of 1862hich contended that "the land should belong to those who worked it and not to the banks and speculators" (p. 94). Although Brook Thomas suggests that Hawthorne's approach seems democratic in allowing the natural right of the land to go to the plebian Maules (who worked the land) instead of to the aristocratic Pyncheons (who claimed the land), he shows the fallacy of the law: "the Indians, not the Maules, were the original owners of the soil" (p. 70). Shamir focuses on the middle-class right to privacy as market relations destroyed the notion of individuality and ownership. Artistic ownership is akin to property ownership, and the novel makes an inquest into both types of legality.
In The House of the Seven Gables, various protagonists are wrongly accused and persecutedhe progenitor Matthew Maule, who gets cheated out of his land by Colonel Pyncheon (who accuses him of wizardry), and later, the Pyncheon descendant, Clifford Pyncheon, who is falsely imprisoned (for allegedly killing his Uncle Pyncheon). The grandson of the wizard Matthew Maule, the carpenter Matthew Maule, tries to vindicate the wrongs done to the Maule line by humiliating the most delicate of the Pyncheons, Alice Pyncheon, who later dies as a result of his "experiment." This Maule, a mesmerist, abuses his power by putting her into a trance and afterward controlling her every move. Hawthorne shows how easy it is for the oppressed to become the oppressor: "He [Maule] had meant to humble Alice, not to kill her;ut he had taken a woman's delicate soul into his rude grip to play with;nd she was dead" (p. 210). The book seeks retribution for the feuding families, who have both become tainted through their lust for power. If the reconciliation does not occur, their ancestors will become grotesque images of what once washe Pyncheon line has already disinte-grated to the point where they are like the misshapen, degenerate chickens in the garden who cannot breed properly.
As an avid reader of such gothic writers as Horace Walpole and Sir Walter Scott, Hawthorne might have borrowed various literary conventions from gothic novels: the idea of the feuding families, the search for a home, magical occurrences (the "bewitched" water of Maule's Well, the Pyncheon family disease), the theme of class conflict between the aristocracy and the emerging middle class (and with that, the working class), and the motif of the "sins of the fathers." His historical romance illustrates the claim he makes in his preface "that the wrong-doing of one generation lives into successive ones, and, divesting itself of every temporary advantage, becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief" (p. 2). His "moral" is to teach the reader the consequences of greed, the cupidity represented by such characters as the Ur-Pyncheon, Colonel Pyncheon, and the contemporary Judge Pyncheono "convince mankind (or, indeed, any one man) of the folly of tumbling down an avalanche of ill-gotten gold, or real estate, on the heads of an unfortunate posterity, thereby to maim and crush them" (p. 2). The curse of the fathers is made manifest through a magical phenomenonhe death of the power-hungry Pyncheon is caused by the mysterious ailment apoplexy, which has the condemned party choke on his own blood. As the original wizard Maule prophesied, "God will give him blood to drink!" (p. 8). As is often the case in gothic novels, a reconciliation between the feuding families is made in Hawthorne's story through the marriage of the more enlightened offspring, that is, between Holgrave (Maule) and Phoebe (Pyncheon).
ELEMENTS OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORY
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Hawthorne's famous sister-in-law, who promoted Hawthorne's work early in his career, aptly described Hawthorne's notion of history when she, an avid abolitionist, tried to excuse his political conservatism. In a letter of 4 June 1887 she suggested that Hawthorne was more aware of the distant past than of the present: "It was perfectly true what he often saidhat he knew nothing about contemporaneous history, that he could not understand history until it was at least a hundred years old!" (Peabody, p. 445). Hawthorne did realize that in The House of the Seven Gables he had come closer to the historical present. And, it is true, the current history seemed to make him more uneasyith the fictional latitude of the writer removed. As he wrote to his publisher Fields on 27 January 1851, "It [The House] has undoubtedly one disadvantage, in being brought so close to the present time; whereby its romantic improbabilities become more glaring" (Letters, 1843853, p. 386). Implicit in this self-critique is that the present, in literary material, is too glaringly realnd that renditions of the historical present are less nuanced because of a myopic perspective. He adamantly wished his audience to accept the disclaimer to historical accuracy offered in his preface: "The personages of the Talehough they give themselves out to be of ancient stability and considerable prominencere really of the Author's own making, or, at all events, of his own mixing" (p. 3).
For all of Hawthorne's shyness or disingenuousness about discussing contemporary history, the characters he creates in The House of the Seven Gables show a deep awareness of serious social and political issues of the mid-nineteenth century. Holgrave himself is representative of many social reform movements of his time. He is a mesmerist, a social utopian (or Fourierist, who associates with "reformers, temperance-lecturers, and all manner of cross-looking philanthropists," p. 84), a daguerreotypist, and a writer of women's fiction. Hepzibah's mistrust about Holgrave's surreptitious activities also reflects Hawthorne's basic suspicions about the reformer type, whom he will critique again in his next novel, The Blithedale Romance (1852), through the character of Hollingsworth. However, Hawthorne also approves of Holgrave, because he "has a law of his own" (p. 85). One is reminded of the self-reliant Hester Prynne, whose very existence makes a mockery of the conformist society judging her.
Holgrave's lawlessness may be construed as negative because it is linked to the "vagrant and lawless plants" thriving in the decaying soil in the garden of the House of the Seven Gables (p. 86). The upstanding Phoebe Pyncheon recognizes an innate evil and recoils from Holgrave initially: "She rebelled . . . against a certain magnetic element in the artist's nature, which he exercised towards her, possibly without being conscious of it" (p. 94). Holgrave has inherited the powers of the first Matthew Maule's wizardry and the second Matthew Maule's mesmerism, but he uses his power with "reverence for another's individuality" (p. 212). Mesmerism, developed by the German Franz Mesmer (1734815), became fashionable for mid-nineteenth-century intellectuals suffering from incurable ailments. When his fiancée, Sophia Peabody, wrote Hawthorne about her intent to visit a mesmerist to cure her headache, Hawthorne was alarmed and advised her to "take no part" in "these magnetic miracles," warning her instead of the possible violation by the mesmerist into her soul (Letters, 1813843, p. 588). Holgrave is redeemed by not using his mesmeric power against Phoebe in the garden at Maule's Well.
Perhaps, rather than magic, Hawthorne suggests, Holgrave possesses the somnambulistic qualities of a bad storyteller who writes for the women's periodicals. Hawthorne may be parodying his own work as a writer when he describes Holgrave's effect on his female listenernd as he equates mesmerism with art. Samuel Coale has written persuasively on the similarities between Holgrave the mesmerist and Hawthorne the writer. Though Holgrave has bragged that he has published for popular journals, he ultimately engages in self-mockery, as he exclaims, "My poor story, it is but too evident, will never do for Godey or Graham! Only think of your falling asleep, at what I hoped the newspaper critics would pronounce a most brilliant, powerful, imaginative, pathetic, and original winding up!" (p. 212). This criticism could explain Hawthorne's intent to provide a sunny ending, one that the female readers would prefer. Holgrave's legend of "Alice's Posies" ends with the humiliation and destruction of Alice, hardly a proper ending for the pages of sentimental women's fiction.
The character who serves as the redemptive force of the romance, Phoebe Pyncheon, represents the nineteenth-century ideal known as the Cult of True Womanhood, as described by conservative writers such as Catharine Beecher in A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841). As a quintessential True Woman, Phoebe has a preternatural ability to bring order and joy to the gloomy Pyncheon household: her housekeeping is "a kind of natural magic" (p. 71) and "homely witchcraft" (p. 72), which allies her with the magical powers of Holgrave. And like Holgrave, she has had a middle-class, rather than aristocratic, upbringing; she announces to Hepzibah, "I mean to earn my bread. You know, I have not been brought up a Pyncheon. A girl learns many things in a New England village" (p. 74). Because Phoebe has done the shopping errands for her family, she is confidently aware that she is "as nice a little saleswoman" as she is "a housewife" (p. 78). Phoebe has common sense and can manage the cent-shop (and turn a profit) as adroitly as she cooks, cleans the house, and manages the garden, domestic aspects that have fallen into shambles under Hepzibah's lack of housekeeping, culinary, and gardening skills. Phoebe has the makings of a good motherhildren are drawn to her in the cent-shop; she has taught grammar school in her village; and she feels "an odd kind of motherly sentiment" (p. 216) toward her cousins, Hepzibah and Clifford. Phoebe is cast in terms that paint her as the "angel of the household" (another metaphor associated with the True Woman), and though not born a lady, she is gentrified though her domestic abilities. Joel Pfister maintains that Hawthorne uses Phoebe as a way to display "the cultural uses of and need for a distinctively middle-class femininity" (p. 149).
Hawthorne's feminism in his second romance is more problematic than in The Scarlet Letter, in which Hester Prynne embodies the best traits of the self-reliant nineteenth-century woman, as expressed in Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845). Hawthorne is aware of woman's emerging role in the public sphere, especially with such events as the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott advocated a Declaration of Sentiments written as a revisionist Declaration of Independence for women. Property laws were also passed throughout the 1840s, permitting married women to own their own property; Hepzibah, though single, is basically fighting about her property rights to the house. The grotesque old maid, she appears to be a manifestation of what Hawthorne fears and believes the new type of woman, the emancipated bluestocking, will resemble. She represents the new options open to womenorking in the marketplaceut her femininity and "ladylike" qualities, for Hawthorne, disintegrate in the process. Hawthorne saw Hepzibah as the horror of the new labor that meant corporeality and "subjection to a mesmeric power that hystericizes the individual body" (Brown, p. 82).
SOCIAL ISSUES: SLAVERY AND POVERTY
Although Hawthorne does not bring up the topic of slavery per se, the master-slave relationship between Matthew Maule and Alice Pyncheonnd its ramifications for the present-day Maules and Pyncheonsesonates throughout the text. But the early Maule-Pyncheon relationship is not the only unhealthy relationship between the sexes. The original Pyncheon, Colonel Pyncheon, "had worn out three wives" and "by . . . the hardness of his character in the conjugal relation, had sent them, one after another, broken hearted, to their graves" (p. 123). Judge Pyncheon, though only married once, lost his wife in the "third or fourth year of marriage," but it was rumored that "the lady got her death-blow in the honeymoon" and "never smiled again" as her husband forced her to serve him as if he were "her liege-lord and master" (p. 123).
African American slavery is not foregrounded in the novel, though it is definitely in the picture with the presence of Scipio, the black servant of Gervayse Pyncheon (father to Alice Pyncheon). As the property of the Pyncheon household, Scipio shares the family's same condescending attitude to Maule, the "low carpenter-man" (p. 188) who would try to be equal to Alice Pyncheon. Hawthorne may use Scipio as a stock comic-relief device, but Scipio is haunted by the Pyncheon past as profoundly as are the inhabitants of the House of the Seven Gables: "The house is a berry good house, and old Colonel Pyncheon think so too, I reckon; else why the old man haunt it so, and frighten a poor nigger, as he does?" (p. 187). Just as Gervayse Pyncheon's household was built upon slave labor, so too does the current Gables owner depend upon the institution of slavery, at least symbolically.
Hepzibah's first business transaction involves selling a Jim Crow image in the form of a gingerbread cookie to the young boy Ned. This suggests that the economy of the Pyncheon household resides upon the selling of the "Jim Crow" effigyr that the economy depends upon slavery to thrive. Young Ned Higgins demands a Jim Crow cookie that did not "have a broken foot" (p. 50). Though this is not the actual slave trade, it resonates in a grotesque manner with such a slave sale. The young boy devours the Jim Crow cookie and demands yet another, but Hepzibah, who had given the boy his first cookie for free, demands a cent in return. As Robert Martin points out, "The exchange of money gives her a 'copper stain,' the indelible mark of participation in the slave economy"; the transaction "reveals the hidden source of northern wealth" (p. 134). Jim Crow represented the stereotypical good-natured black minstrel, the infantilized product of the white imagination, and the business transaction made by Hepzibah allies her with the larger national slave-based economy. Even before Hepzibah opens the cent-shop, she thinks nostalgically about the Pyncheons who have migrated to the South and made a fortune from their plantation life: she remembers hearing about "a Pyncheon who had emigrated to Virginia in some past generation, and become a great planter there" (p. 65) and fantasizes about the fortune that the apocryphal Virginian Pyncheon would send her.
Hawthorne, aware of the imposing presence of the Salem Almshouse, is concerned with the local and national problem of poverty in his depiction of Uncle Venner and of Hepzibah. The town pauper, Uncle Venner, has gained a modicum of freedom and respectability from his "privileges of age and humble familiarity" (p. 63); "at least a score of families" (p. 61) allow him to do odd jobs around the house in return for scraps of food. Uncle Venner sees the almshouse as a utopian place of retirement, and Hepzibah even entertains the possibility of moving there with him if her cent-shop fails (p. 63). As the self-reliant Venner misconstrues it, he thinks of retiring to his "farm"That's yonderhe great brick house, you knowhe work-house, most folks call it; but I mean to do my work first, and go there to be idle and enjoy myself" (p. 62). Hawthorne shows his preference for communal charity, a throwback to the Puritan idea of charity, over institutionalized charity, represented by the almshouse.
In accordance with the historical reality of the burgeoning middle class, Hepzibah is transformed from "patrician lady" to "plebeian woman" (p. 38): "Poverty, treading closely at her heels for a lifetime, has come up with her at last. She must earn her own food, or starve!" (p. 38). Whereas she had felt a false sense of charity for the poor, Hepzibah now has a feeling of scorn for the wealthy. As a finely dressed and "beautifully slippered" lady passes through the street, Hepzibah rightly asks, "For what good end, in the wisdom of Providence, does that woman live! Must the whole world toil, that the palms of her hands may be kept white and delicate?" (p. 55). Hawthorne thus critiques the false consumer needs incited by a capitalist economy and the unequal system of profit and productivity.
Hawthorne's solution to the problem of poverty, at the end of the novel, is a bit far-fetchedhe stuff of sentimentality, Victorian novel coincidences, and fairy tales. The only son of Judge Pyncheon, the ostensible heir to the Pyncheon fortune, dies of cholera in a foreign land before embarking at sea for home. Clifford and Hepzibah inherit the Pyncheon legacy, and Phoebe's share will go to Holgrave, through marriage. They decide to take Uncle Venner along with them to the Pyncheon estate in the country, where, Phoebe says, he will live in a cottage of his own, a "sweetest-looking place . . . as if it were made of gingerbread" (p. 317). The allusion to gingerbread is suspicious, as one is reminded of the slavery represented earlier by the Jim Crow gingerbread. Clifford means to keep Venner as his company, or perhaps better put, a servant, within a "five minutes' saunter of [his] chair" (p. 317), thus keeping the privileged aristocracy, now in the guise of the newly empowered capitalists, intact.
ARTISTIC INTEGRITY IN THE MARKETPLACE
Driving the characters and producing the conflict in this novel is the invisible hand of capitalism. When Hepzibah leaves her position as fallen aristocrat to become part of the marketplace world of capitalism, by opening her cent-shop, the narrator even makes reference to the eighteenth-century economist Adam Smith's notion of "the invisible hand": "It might have been fancied . . . that she expected to minister to the wants of the community, unseen, like a disembodied divinity, or enchantress, holding forth her bargains to the reverential and awestricken purchaser, in an invisible hand" (p. 40). She engages inadvertently in the same money structure that demonizes and finally kills Judge Pyncheon, thereby reflecting the realm of realism, but she also serves to introduce the realm of the magical world (as "enchantress") of the romance mode, which allies her with the supernatural aspects attributed to both Holgrave and Phoebe early on in the book. Holgrave, by marrying Phoebe, also becomes a conservative capitalist and sells out to the realist world. At the end of The House of the Seven Gables, then, all hands are sullied, and so it is debatable whether there is a release from the pastven though one could point to the ascension of Alice's spirit in the kaleidoscopic final images from Maule's well as a positive sign.
Whether the ending is deemed positive or negative depends upon whether one reads through the lens of the romance or (in the mode of realism) the novel. Alan Trachtenberg maintains that Hawthorne "endows the ending with the redemptive power of 'Romance'"; this is achieved, he says, with "a lost vision of entrepreneurial, petit bourgeois social relations elevated into a historical impossibility, the dream of a restored 'circle'" (p. 47). Richard Brodhead feels that "having reached this condition of understanding and perception the characters have no more need of romance" (p. 88). Brodhead believes that Hawthorne "makes a strong commitment" to both "fictions of realism and fictions of romance" but finally "resists an ultimate commitment to either" (p. 90).
Does the novel end with a statement about commerce or art, or is Hawthorne caught between both realms? Michael T. Gilmore asserts that Hawthorne, like Holgrave, finally was forced to compromise. He had to placate his editor, Fields, and the public: Holgrave's truth, like Hawthorne's art, is "private and unsalable" (p. 109). Holgrave's final decision, which renders him a conservative, is similar to "Hawthorne's contrivance of a happy ending at the expense of narrative consistency" (p. 109). The "invisible hand" of capitalism also has its grip on the world of publishing and marketing. The House of the Seven Gables shows an inclination to remain true to the calling of an artist, even with the compromises demanded from the marketplace world of publishing.
See also The Blithedale Romance; "The Custom-House"; Domestic Fiction; Feminism; History; The Romance; Slavery; The Scarlet Letter
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. 1851. Centenary edition, vol 2. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1965.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Letters, 1813843. Centenary edition, vol. 15. Edited by Thomas Woodson et al. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1984.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Letters, 1843853. Centenary edition, vol 16. Edited by Thomas Woodson et al. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter, 1850. Centenary edition, vol. 1. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1962.
Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer. Letters of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, American Renaissance Woman. Edited by Bruce A. Ronda. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1984.
Brodhead, Richard H. "Double Exposure: The House of the Seven Gables." In his Hawthorne, Melville, and the Novel, pp. 690. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
Brown, Gillian. "Women's Work and Bodies in The House of the Seven Gables." In her Domestic Individualism: Imagining Self in Nineteenth-Century America, pp. 635. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Coale, Samuel Chase. "Mysteries of Mesmerism: Hawthorne's Haunted House." In A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Larry J. Reynolds, pp. 497. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Elbert, Monika M. "Hawthorne's Reformulation of Transcendentalist Charity." American Transcendental Quarterly 11, no. 3 (1997): 21332.
Gilmore, Michael T. "The Artist and the Marketplace in The House of the Seven Gables." In his American Romanticism and the Marketplace, pp. 9612. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
Goodwin, Lorinda B. R. "Salem's House of Seven Gables as Historic Site." In Salem: Place, Myth, and Memory, edited by Dane Anthony Morrison and Nancy Lustignan Schultz, pp. 29914. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004.
Martin, Robert K. "Haunted Jim Crow: Gothic Fictions by Hawthorne and Faulkner." In American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative, edited by Robert K. Martin and Eric Savoy, pp. 12942. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998.
Matheson, Neill. "Melancholy History in The House of the Seven Gables." In Literature and Psychology 48, no. 3 (2002): 17.
Michaels, Walter Benn. "Romance and Real Estate." In his The Gold Standard and the Logic of Naturalism: American Literature at the Turn of the Century, pp. 8712. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
Moore, Margaret B. The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1998.
Pfister, Joel. "Cleaning House: From the Gothic to the Middle-Class World Order." In his The Production of Personal Life: Class, Gender, and the Psychological in Hawthorne's Fiction, pp. 14461. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1991.
Powell, Timothy B. "Nathaniel Hawthorne: History Imagined 'Historically Awry.'" In his Ruthless Democracy: A Multicultural Interpretation of the American Renaissance, pp. 308. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Shamir, Milette. "Hawthorne's Romance and the Right to Privacy." American Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1997): 74679.
Shloss, Carol. "Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daguerreotypy: Distinterested Vision." In her Invisible Light: Photography and the American Writer: 1840940, pp. 254. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Thomas, Brook. Cross-Examinations of Law and Literature: Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe, and Melville. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. See pp. 450.
Trachtenberg, Alan. "Seeing and Believing: Hawthorne's Reflections on the Daguerreotype in The House of the Seven Gables." In National Imaginaries, American Identities: The Cultural Work of American Iconography, edited by Larry J. Reynolds and Gordon Hutner, pp. 311. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Williams, Susan S. "Hawthorne, Daguerreotypy, and The House of the Seven Gables." In her Counfounding Images: Photography and Portraiture in Antebellum American Fiction, pp. 9619. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.