This all-new edition of Hawthorneâ€™s celebrated 1851 novel is based on The Ohio State University Pressâ€™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a generous selection of primary materials intended to provide readers with background on the novelâ€™s central themes.Â Historical documents include accounts of Salemâ€™s history by Thomas Maule, Robert Calef, Joseph B. Felt, and Charles W. Upham, which Hawthorne drew on for The House of the Seven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.Â The importance of the house in antebellum Americaâ€”as a manifestation of the body, a site of genealogical history, and a symbol of the republicâ€™s middle classâ€”is explored through the diverse writings of William Andrus Alcott, Edgar Allan Poe, and J. H. Agnew, among others.Â 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.Â Also included are two of Hawthorneâ€™s literary sketchesâ€”"Alice Doaneâ€™s Appeal" and "The Old Apple Dealer"â€”that demonstrate the continuity of Hawthorneâ€™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.Â 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.
Literature & Fiction, World Literature, United States,