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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $13.50
  • August 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92476-3
  • 528 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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The House of the Seven Gables

Norton Critical Editions


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Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author), Robert S. Levine (Editor, University of Maryland, College Park)


This all-new edition of Hawthorne’s celebrated 1851 novel is based on The Ohio State University Press’s Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations and an insightful introduction to the novel and antebellum culture by Robert S. Levine.

"Contexts" brings together a generous selection of primary materials intended to provide readers with background on the novel’s central themes.  Historical documents include accounts of Salem’s history by Thomas Maule, Robert Calef, Joseph B. Felt, and Charles W. Upham, which Hawthorne drew on for The House of the Seven Gables.  The importance of the house in antebellum America—as a manifestation of the body, a site of genealogical history, and a symbol of the republic’s middle class—is explored through the diverse writings of William Andrus Alcott, Edgar Allan Poe, and J. H. Agnew, among others.  The impact of technological developments on the novel, especially of daguerreotypy, is considered through the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gustave de Beaumont, and Alexis de Tocqueville, among others.  Also included are two of Hawthorne’s literary sketches—"Alice Doane’s Appeal" and "The Old Apple Dealer"—that demonstrate the continuity of Hawthorne’s style, from his earlier periodical writing to his later career as a novelist.

"Criticism" provides a comprehensive overview of the critical commentary on the novel from its publication to the present.  Among the twenty-seven critics represented are Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, Nina Baym, Eric Sundquist, Richard H. Millington, Alan Trachtenberg, Amy Schrager Lang, and Christopher Castiglia.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.



    A Note on the Text and Annotations


    The Text of The House of the Seven Gables



    1. Thomas Maule – From Truth Held Forth and Maintained
    2. Robert Calef – From More Wonders of the Invisible World
    3. Joseph B. Felt – From Annals of Salem
    4. Charles W. Upham – From Lectures on Witchcraft
    5. Nathaniel Hawthorne – From The American Notebooks


    1. Nathaniel Hawthorne – Alice Doane’s Appeal
    2. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Old Apple-Dealer


    1. William Andrus Alcott – From The House I Live In
    2. Edgar Allan Poe – The Fall of the House of Usher
    3. Andrew Jackson Downing – [American Country Houses]
    4. Catharine E. Beecher – [American Housekeepers]
    5. Margaret Fuller – From The Great Lawsuit
    6. J.H. Agnew – From Woman’s Offices and Influence


    1. Nathaniel Parker Willis – From The Pencil of Nature: A New Discovery
    2. Anonymous – From Daguerreotypes
    3. Ralph Waldo Emerson – [Sea and Shore]
    4. T. S. Arthur – The Daguerreotypist
    5. Frederick Douglass – [Our Photographic Process]
    6. Charles Poyen – [Animal Magnetism]
    7. Nathaniel Hawthorne – [Love is the True Magnetism]
    8. Gustave de Beaumont and Alexis de Tocqueville – From On the Penitentiary
    9. System in the United States
    10. Nathaniel Hawthorne – [Railroads]



    1. Nathaniel Hawthorne – From Letter to Hortatio Bridge, March 15, 1851
    2. Herman Melville – Letter to Hawthorne, [April 16], 1851
    3. Catharine Maria Sedgwick – Letter to Mrs. K.S. Minot, May 4, 1851
    4. Anonymous – [Sombre Coloring]
    5. Harriet Beecher Stowe – [A Succession of Rembrandt Pictures]


    1. Anthony Trollope – [A Ghastly Spirit of Drollery]
    2. Henry James – [The House of the Seven Gables]
    3. William Dean Howells – [Dim, Forlorn Wraiths]
    4. D. H. Lawrence – [Vacuum Cleaner]
    5. F. O. Mathiessen – [Energy of Disease]
    6. Hyatt H. Waggoner – [Curves, Circles, and Cycles]
    7. A. N. Kaul – [The Rising Democracy]
    8. Frederick C. Crews – [Imperfect Repression]
    9. Nina Baym – [Holgrave]
    10. Eric J. Sundquist – [Mirror with a Memory]


    1. Michael T. Gilmore – The Artist and the Marketplace in The House of the Seven Gables
    2. Walter Benn Michaels – Romance and Real Estate
    3. Gillian Brown – From Women’s Work and Bodies in The House of the Seven Gables
    4. Richard H. Millington – [The Triple Beginning of The House of the Seven Gables]
    5. Alan Trachtenberg – Seeing and Believing: Hawthorne’s Reflections on the Daguerreotype in The House of the Seven Gables
    6. David Anthony – Class, Culture, and the Trouble with White Skin in Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables
    7. Amy Schrager Lang – From Home, in the Better Sense: The Model Woman, the Middle Class, and the Harmony of Interests
    8. Christopher Castiglia – The Marvelous Queer Interiors of The House of The Seven Gables

    Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography