The House of the Seven Gables
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Contributed by Marinda Dreiling
Chapter Summaries
Timeline
Chapter Summaries Table
Chapter Summary
Chapter 1

The Old Pyncheon Family: The House of the Seven Gables is a rusty, wooden house halfway down Pyncheon Street in a New England town. The house, also...

Chapter 2

The Little Shop-Window: Hepzibah Pyncheon was an old maid living alone in the old house, with the exception of a respectable and orderly young arti...

Chapter 3

The First Customer: While sitting in her shop, a bell alarms Hepzibah. Her first customer arrives, a slender young man in his early twenties with a...

Chapter 4

A Day Behind the Counter: A dignified elderly gentleman, large and portly, stops outside the shop. He had a gravity and an appearance of influence ...

Chapter 5

May and November: Phoebe Pyncheon slept in a chamber that looked down on the garden of the old house. She quietly awoke and did not recognize where...

Chapter 6

Maule’s Well: After an early tea, Phoebe goes into the garden, which had fallen into decay. There are vegetables which make Phoebe wonder who had...

Chapter 7

The Guest: Phoebe awoke and found Hepzibah already in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. She and Phoebe prepare food, despite Hepzibah’s lack of a...

Chapter 8

The Pyncheon of To-Day: The little boy who had bought gingerbread from Hepzibah on the first day returns on an errand for his mother. This little u...

Chapter 9

Clifford and Phoebe: For years Hepzibah had looked forward to the point at which she now found herself. She had asked for nothing but the opportuni...

Chapter 10

The Pyncheon Garden: Phoebe would often read to Clifford in the garden. Holgrave would supply her works of fiction and poetry; the fiction did not ...

Chapter 11

The Arched Window: Clifford seemed content to spend one day after another interminably in the way previously described, but Phoebe often would sugg...

Chapter 12

The Daguerreotypist: When Clifford slept, Phoebe was free to follow her own tastes for the remainder of the day and evening. This freedom was essen...

Chapter 13

Alice Pyncheon: This chapter, narrated by Holgrave, is a flashback to the years following the construction of the House of the Seven Gables. It has...

Chapter 14

Phoebe’s Goodbye: Holgrave finishes his story and finds Phoebe to appear as if she were in a trance. To a person like Holgrave, there is no tempt...

Chapter 15

The Scowl and Smile: Without Phoebe, Clifford is cut off from whatever enjoyment he once had. An easterly storm sets in, preventing him from taking...

Chapter 16

Clifford’s Chamber: Hepzibah felt that she, Clifford and Judge Pyncheon were on the brink of adding another disturbing incident to the house. She...

Chapter 17

The Flight of Two Owls: Hepzibah and Clifford began their strange expedition away from the house. They attracted a great deal of notice as they rea...

Chapter 18

Governor Pyncheon: Judge Pyncheon remains in the House of the Seven Gables, dead but with his eyes open. He continues to hold his watch, which cont...

Chapter 19

Alice’s Posies: Uncle Venner was the first person to stir the day after the storm. He traveled down Pyncheon street, where one mystic branch hung...

Chapter 20

The Flower of Eden: Holgrave, looking paler than ordinary, grasps Phoebe’s hand. He smiles at her with genuine warmth. He tells her that they are...

Chapter 21

The Departure: The sudden death of Judge Pyncheon created a sensation that did not immediately subside. Among the talk of how excellent the judge w...

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