First Question: What Exactly is a Gable?

July 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

When reading a book entitled The House of the Seven Gables, it generally helps to know the answer to this question. I’m hoping here that I’m not the only one who has wondered this because, otherwise, this post is bound to make me look really stupid.

After a quick Google search (Google really is your best friend for these sorts of quick questions), I have discovered that a gable is actually a rather common bit of architecture. My other good friend Wikipedia tells me that a gable is the “triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof”, which means you might have had one without even knowing it! A quick look around my neighborhood shows that they are everywhere.


See? I found one!

See? I found one!


Having seven of them, though, would make for an interesting look on a house. Wouldn’t it? Hooray for Google image search! Ah, the wonders of the internet. It turns out that the book was inspired by a real seven-gabled house in Salem! I could actually take a tour of it. You know, if I lived anywhere near Massachusetts. Or had the time and the money to go there. Which I don’t. But I can give you this handy link so you can see for yourself what it really looks like. Or you could just read the description from the book.

“On every side the seven gables pointed sharply towards the sky, and presented the aspect of a whole sisterhood of edifices, breathing through the spiracles of one great chimney.” – The House of the Seven Gables, page 7

Now I just have to find out what a spiracle is…

Entry filed under: 1001, Books. Tags: , .

Deciding What to Read Next Emerson and Hawthorne in Conversation

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July 2013

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