House of the Seven Gables
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Haunted by the involvement of his forebears in the 17th-century Salem with trials, Nathaniel Hawthorne explored theme of ancestral guilt in much of his fiction, particularly in The House of the Seven Gables. This 1851 classic novel, centering on an ancient New England mansion and its inhabitants, concerns the expiation of the sins of the fathers through the love and goodwill of succeeding generations. The evil takes root when greedy, piratical colonel Pyncheon obtains the property for the House of the Seven Gable by accusing Matthew Maule of witchcraft. Maule curses the Colonel from the gallows with the dire prophesy, "God will give him blood to drink, " a curse that is subsequently fulfilled. Years later, a visiting country causing and an enigmatic young boarder reverse the tide of misfortunes surrounding the house, foiling attempts by the Colonels heir, Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, to railroad a pair of his elderly relatives. This masterly psychological romance is one of the most widely read novels in high school and college literature courses.
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