HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables, A Romance. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1851.
First edition, first printing (March 1851), with the last letters ("t" and "h") of the last words in lines 1 and 2 on p. 149 battered and not complete. Octavo (7 1/8 x 4 7/16 inches; 181 x 113 mm.). [2, blank], vi, , -344, [2, blank] pp. With 4 pp. publisher's advertisements, dated March, 1851, inserted between the front endpapers.
Original brown vertically-ribbed cloth. Covers stamped in blind with central device inside ruled panels, spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt. The binding matches Clarke and BAL variant B. Extremities lightly worn, corners a little frayed, lower extremity of spine a little chipped. Some light spotting and minor browning, small newspaper clipping (2 3/8 x 5/8 inch) affixed to the upper blank margin of p. 9 (causing offsetting to facing page). Two early ink signatures on title-page, one dated 1902. A very good copy. Housed in a marbled board and brown cloth slipcase.
"Set in mid-19th-century Salem, Mass., the work is a somber study in hereditary sin based on the legend of a curse pronounced on Hawthorne's own family by a woman condemned to death during the infamous Salem witchcraft trials. The greed and arrogant pride of the novel's Pyncheon family through the generations is mirrored in the gloomy decay of their seven-gabled mansion, in which the family's enfeebled and impoverished relations life. At the book's end the descendant of a family long ago defrauded by the Pyncheons lifts his ancestors' curse on the mansion and marries a young niece of the family" (Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature).
There have been three film adaptations of The House of the Seven Gables, the most notable being the 1940 version directed by Joe May and starring George Sanders and Vincent Price.
BAL 7604. Browne, p. 41. Clarke A17.1.a.
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