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House of Seven Gables

APRIL 11, 2007
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorn
I'll join my friends Bob Staake and Edel Rodriguez in posting an illustration that is blue themed and slightly spooky. This is a painting I did recently for the novel, 'The House of Seven Gables' by Nathaniel Hawthorn. I knew I should use the house on the cover and was given freedom to do what I wished on this cover. No such trees exists around the house, but I just love the shapes and most importantly, the darkness a tree could offer this scene. ~An evil house, cursed through the centuries by a man who was hanged for witchcraft, is haunted by the ghosts of its sinful dead, wracked by the fear of its frightened living. Written as a follow-up to The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables is a masterful blending of the actual and the imaginary. The novel begins: "Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm." The Pyncheon family actually existed and were ancestors of American novelist Thomas Pynchon. The House of the Seven Gables, the building that inspired the novel, is still standing in Salem, Massachusetts.