Nathaniel Hawthorne: The House of the Seven Gables

(3076 words)

In 1850 The Scarlet Letter was well-reviewed and selling fairly well, so James T. Fields, Hawthorne’s publisher and friend, encouraged him to begin work on a second book. Hawthorne complied, finished it within five months, and pronounced it “a more healthy and natural product of my mind” than his first romance and “as good as anything that I can hope to write”. Since its publication in the spring of 1851, some critics have disagreed, and his first book has always sold more than his second, but other critics argue for both the strangeness and the value of this exploration of the theme, announced in the preface, “that the wrong-doing of one generation lives into the successive ones”. The book traces the interactions …

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Daly, Robert. "The House of the Seven Gables". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2006
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]