The current occupant of the house with seven gables,
Hepzibah is Clifford’s sister and a cousin to Judge Pyncheon and
Phoebe. With her face locked in a permanent scowl due to nearsightedness,
Hepzibah scares customers away from her small store, but she has a
good heart and takes good care of her brother.
in-depth analysis of Hepzibah Pyncheon.
Once a beautiful young man, Clifford is broken by
the thirty years he spends in prison for allegedly murdering his
uncle, old Jaffrey Pyncheon. Clifford returns more idiot than man,
but Hebzibah and Phoebe’s care gradually brings him back to his wits.
Clifford hates his cousin, Judge Jaffrey
Pyncheon, who may have framed him for the
murder of their uncle.
in-depth analysis of Clifford Pyncheon.
Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon
The wealthy, popular cousin of Hepzibah and Clifford,
Judge Pyncheon is the closest to their stern ancestor, Colonel Pyncheon.
With his brilliant smile, he is viewed, by himself and by others, as
a pillar of the community, but his is in fact a dark and greedy
nature. Most likely the true culprit in the death of old Jaffrey
Pyncheon, the Judge is resolved to acquire the rest of the dead
man’s missing property.
young lodger in Hepzibah’s home, Holgrave earns his living by making
an early kind of photograph known as a daguerreotype. Holgrave’s
politics are very liberal and revolutionary, but he is kind despite
the strange and lawless company he keeps. No one knows that Holgrave
is actually a descendant of the first Matthew Maule. This link has
given him hypnotic powers, but does not prevent him from falling
in love with Phoebe Pyncheon.
in-depth analysis of Holgrave.
Although she lacks the aristocratic upbringing of
her cousins Hepzibah and Clifford, Phoebe Pyncheon is a young, vibrant,
and beautiful young woman who brings a note of cheer to the gloomy Pyncheon
house. The only person capable of consoling Clifford, Phoebe’s presence
brightens the whole mansion. Her good nature runs deep and conceals great
wisdom and strength.
in-depth analysis of Phoebe Pyncheon.
A bastion of the town’s Puritan community two centuries
before the action of the novel unfolds. Colonel Pyncheon’s greed
and heartlessness are responsible for the Pyncheon curse. The Colonel,
who is the first member of his family to die of apoplexy, a sudden
kind of brain hemorrhage, comes to symbolize all that is wrong with
the Pyncheons. His portrait looms over the future inhabitants of
elder) A simple farmer in the 1600
s, Maule is
hanged for witchcraft, most likely at the instigation of Colonel
Pyncheon. His stolen land serves as the site of the Pyncheon house.
Maule’s curse on the Pyncheons is said to continue to haunt them.
younger) The grandson of the original Matthew Maule and the son
of Thomas Maule, who built the house of the seven gables, the young
Matthew Maule nurses a powerful grudge against the Pyncheon family.
The young Maule’s imprudence with his hypnotic powers unintentionally
causes the death of young Alice Pyncheon.
daughter of Gervayse Pyncheon, Alice’s life is destroyed after she
falls under the hypnotic spell of the younger Matthew Maule. The
sounds of her harpsichord are said to still haunt the house of the seven
The grandson of Colonel Pyncheon and
father of Alice, Gervayse’s attempts to retrieve his family’s deed
to a tract of land in Maine cost his daughter her life.
colorful figure in the village, Uncle Venner preaches a philosophy
of undaunted optimism
in spite of his poverty. He provides friendship to the lonely Clifford
and Hepzibah, as well as to Phoebe
Old Jaffrey Pyncheon
The uncle of Clifford and the Judge, old Jaffrey
Pyncheon dies of an apoplectic fit after finding young Jaffrey rummaging
through his notes.
carpenter who builds the house of the seven gables on land stolen
from his own family. It is believed that he steals the Pyncheons’
deed to the Maine land and hides it somewhere within the house.
two workmen, who unintentionally mortify Hepzibah with their open
discussion of her shop’s prospects, depict the New England working
A traveling musician whose act includes a monkey
and a moving diorama.
Judge Pyncheon’s son
(unnamed) Judge Pyncheon’s estranged son, whose timely
death from cholera leaves the Judge’s inheritance to Clifford.
An old gentleman
An old gentleman who strikes up conversation with
Clifford and Hepzibah on a train, and is repulsed by Clifford’s
newly revolutionary sentiments.