Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) a descendant of the Salem witch-hunter John Hathorne.
This tale draws on Hawthorne’s own family history for inspiration. The author’s great-grandfather served as a judge in the Salem witchcraft trials, and his actions there allegedly brought a curse upon the Hawthorne family. The House of Seven Gables centers around a curse as well; here, Wizard Maule curses the Pyncheon family’s ancestral home after the first Colonel Pyncheon viciously cheated Maule of his wealth. Cruel Judge Jeffrey Pyncheon (the Colonel’s mid-19th c. descendant) is no better than his ancestor, and torments his cousins Hepzibah and Clifford, who live in the House of Seven Gables, to get hold of a missing deed to disputed land. Only the curse, and the young daguerrotypist Holgrave, can thwart the Judge’s plans.