Academic journal article et Cetera

William Dean Howells: A Writer's Life

Academic journal article et Cetera

William Dean Howells: A Writer's Life

Article excerpt

Susan Goodman and Carl Dawson. William Dean Howells: A Writer's Life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005.

Possibly the most influential figure in the history of American letters, William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was, among other things, a leading novelist in the realist tradition, a formative influence on many of America's finest writers, and an outspoken opponent of social injustice (almost alone among America's writers, he spoke out against the infamous Haymarket trials of 1886, which reflected widespread disquiet and brought about the hanging of innocent men). This biography, the first comprehensive work on Howells in fifty years, enters the consciousness of the man and his times, revealing a complicated and painfully honest figure who came of age in an era of political corruption, industrial greed, and American imperialism.

William Dean Howells traces the writer's life from his boyhood in Ohio before the Civil War, to his consularship in Italy under President Lincoln, to his rise as editor of the Atlantic Monthly. It looks at his writing - which included novels, poems, plays, children's books, and criticism - and his many powerful friendships among the literati of his day. …

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