Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hawthorne said the novel was not based on any particular house

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.

That is the opening paragraph to the novel of The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  I should read this.  My wife purchased the novel while in Salem, which she had not read either.  But, it remained a priority stop on our autumn visit to Salem, Massachusetts.  Nathaniel Hawthorne cousin, Susanna Ingersoll, owned the property at one time.

As we waited for our guided tour I did my usual navigation around the grounds attempting to find the right composition.  My wife too joined in the challenge with her camera.  I snapped away and found little excitement in the shots I was taking.  Upon downloading them at home I tried to create a panoramic view of the yard, which did not work very well either.  From now on I'm going to take pictures of everything--even the sky so I can get it all in.  :)