By Susan Goodman
In all likelihood the main influential determine within the heritage of yankee letters, William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was once, between different issues, a number one novelist within the realist culture, a formative impression on lots of America's best writers, and an outspoken opponent of social injustice. This biography, the 1st complete paintings on Howells in fifty years, enters the cognizance of the guy and his occasions, revealing a sophisticated and painfully sincere determine who got here of age in an period of political corruption, commercial greed, and American imperialism. Written with verve and originality in a hugely soaking up sort, it brings alive for a brand new new release a literary and cultural pioneer who performed a key position in growing the yank inventive ethos.
William Dean Howells traces the writer's lifestyles from his boyhood in Ohio prior to the Civil battle, to his consularship in Italy less than President Lincoln, to his upward push as editor of Atlantic per thirty days. It seems to be at his writing, which integrated novels, poems, performs, kid's books, and feedback. Howells had many robust friendships one of the literati of his day; and right here we discover a particularly wealthy exam of the connection among Howells and Mark Twain. Howells was once, as Twain referred to as him, "the boss" of literary critics—his help virtually single-handedly made the careers of many writers, together with African american citizens like Paul Dunbar and girls like Sarah Orne Jewett. Showcasing many noteworthy personalities—Henry James, Edmund Gosse, H. G. Wells, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, and lots of others—William Dean Howells portrays a guy who stood on the heart of yank literature throughout the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries.
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