Queries and Replies
|The questions and requests for help posted to this page
are those that were originally posted to Howells-L or
to the website. They are posted here so that other readers
may be able to help with these questions. Some other questions
and replies appear in the Howells-L
archives. If you have a serious scholarly question about William
Dean Howells that you would like to have posted on this page and
to Howells-L, please use the Query and Reply
Students who would like help with research projects should post questions
to the Student Queries page.
If you would like to respond to one of the questions on this page, please
use the Query and Reply Form. Thank
(X means that a reply has been posted)
|Holmes's letters to Howells
QUESTION: I've read Howells's letters to Oliver Wendell Holmes,
Jr., but I've been unable to determine whether or not Holmes's
letters to Howells exist and whether or not they've been published
anywhere. Does anyone know anything more about this relationship?
It seems to have been limited to a short period of correspondence
before the Civil war, so both men were quite young.
Stephen H. Wells firstname.lastname@example.org
|Howells and Chekov
QUESTION: I am working on The Son of Royal Langbrith, and
am looking in particular at chapter XIV, pp. 83-84 (in the Indiana
U. P. edition). Judge Garley makes a reference to a study of
a Russian Island (Sakhalin, as the note indicates). The note
also mentions a book on Sakhalin by Hawes.
I was wondering if Howells could have had in a mind a book by Chekhov, The
Island of Sakhalin, serialized in Russia in 1893 and published in
book form in 1895.
The only hitch is :
Could Howells have possibly read it by the time he wrote Royal Langbrith
When was it translated into English ? or into French, or into another
language which he knew (Spanish, Italian & German) ?
I don't think that he knew Russian, but I may be wrong.
I have read extracts of Chekhov's book. It does not express
the theory of remorse expressed by Garley, but I think Howells
could very well have reinterpreted & modified the book in
order to make his point.
I would be very interested to have you opinion on this and would be very
grateful if you could enlighten me.
QUESTION: For the past three months I have been researching Edward MacDowell
(1860-1908), an American composer and an enthusiast of Howells. I
recently read that MacDowell's piece Sea Pieces was inspired by a Howells
poem, but I have been unable to find the exact poem. The title I
was given was "The Sea" and it contained the lines -
And who shall sound the mystery of the sea?
Does anyone have any ideas on where this poem comes from? email@example.com
|Unfortunately, I seem to have erased the original question,
and I don't know of the poem, but there is a line in The Lady of
"The sea is really the only mystery left us, and that will never
be explored." (p. 167)
The passage is ambiguous, I think. Staniford is putting
a shawl around Lydia's shoulders, and is so distracted by her physically
that he's almost babbling. In other words, I don't think
that, at least at this point, Howells is taking the observation
The best comment in the novel of course is "They were Americans,
and they knew how to worship a woman." (p.95)
PS. Thanks to my husband for drawing my attention to that comment.
Here is further information on the MacDowell-Howells query. I have
the books at home, so decided to rummage around a bit more.
Gibson and Arms could not find a copy of the MacDowell-Howells
publication, but they have it cited as number 93-K. It included
eight pianoforte pieces, only three of which could they cite, though
enough information is given to indicate that MacDowell did some
rummaging around himself when he dug up appropriate Howells lyrics.
Piece number III and piece number VIII are from Poems of Two Friends. I
checked my copy of Poems of Two Friends. The former is "Folksong" for
MacDowell but originally "Gone." The latter is the poem "Through
The poem "The Sea" is piece number VII in 93-K. It is the
second part of the poem "Pleasure-Pain" from Howells' Poems from
1873. Here are the words to part two of that poem, now called "The
One sails away to sea,
One stands on the shore and cries;
The ship goes down the world, and the light
On the sullen water dies.
The whispering shell is mute,
And after is evil cheer:
She shall stand on the shore and cry in vain,
Many and many a year.
But the stately, wide-winged ship
Lies wrecked on the unknown deep;
Far under, dead in his coral bed,
The lover lies asleep.
The line cited in the inquiry is not from this poem. I can't
help with the sources of the other five pieces in the MacDowell
publication. Since Gibson-Arms couldn't find a copy of the
first publication in 1893, it is probably pretty scarce. They
did see a German translation of the pieces from 1906.
Another possibility for the source for MacDowell might be Howells' "A
Sea-Change" which he describes as a "lyrical farce" and which has a whole
raft of poems within it, though it stands as a play and is in his collected
plays. I think it came out around 1888 first in Harper's. I
scanned the text but did not find the cited line, though I didn't look
Also, Howells has individual poems published during the 80's and
90's in magazines. I have a letter in which he refers to
a poem published around and only in that time frame, so an hour
or so with the bound volumes of Harper's, Century, etc., might
bring it up as well.
And here is an oddity of an unusual name cropping up more than
once in close proximity. Just last month
I bought from a dealer in Montana a poor copy of Hamlin Garland's
CRUMBLING IDOLS. When I opened it I found it was inscribed
to Edward MacDowell in February 1896. Garland expresses pleasure
in MacDowell's "Americanism." So this is the volume that
MacDowell read and that brought those two people together, a friendship
thus created which is discussed at length in the MacDowell chapter
in Garland's autobiography.
I am shocked to see MacDowell's name show up so soon on my screen.
Perhaps the poem is in Poems by Two Friends, which Howells co-wrote with
J.J. Piatt. (I believe the names of the book and the coauthor are
I'm working from memory.)
Greg Stratman 12/6/99
No, I thought it might be, too, but checked this.
Jim Murphy 12/7/99
The online edition of Poems (1873
edition) lists a poem called "By the Sea," but it doesn't contain
the lines quoted here.
Donna Campbell 12/6/99
Information on A Woman's Reason and Annie Kilburn
My name is Alan King, and I am a graduate student at Middle
State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I am currently enrolled
in a course on research and bibliography methods and am doing a descriptive
bibliography on Howell's 1886 printing of A Woman's Reason. I am
struggling so far for information and places to search. My professor
has left things a little vague, and I'm not clear just what I'm supposed
to be looking for, but if anyone knows of any essays or articles or books
that deal with this novel, or Osgood the publisher, then I would greatly
QUESTION: I am a graduate student of English at Middle Tennessee
State University in Murfreesboro, Tn. In one of my courses I
have been assigned to research a book found in our library's "Special
Collections." The book I have been assigned is Howell's
Annie Kilburn. I'm trying to get a history of the novel,
its publishing, and Howells. Might you have any suggestions
for sources? Anything will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
so much for your time.
Sincerely, Meagan E. Rikard
|Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 10:43:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Queries on _A Woman's Reason_ and _Annie Kilburn_
The best place to start to answer these questions is by looking in the
index of the biographies on Howells. Try the ones by Kenneth Lynn
and Edwin Cady for starters. As for Osgood--you might look at Micheal
Winship's book on Ticknor and Fields, the name of the firm before it
became Osgood. There's also a book on Houghton, the name of the
publishing house that Osgood later became. I think there's also
a biography on Fields, also. Looking in that index for references
to Osgood will help you as well.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
There are two excellent books on James T. Fields:
Parnassus Corner: A Life of James T. Fields, Publisher to the Victorians by
W. S. Tryon
and Fields of the Atlantic Monthly by James C. Austin
There is also, as noted a book on the firm of Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Moreover, there is a biography (quite good) on James R. Osgood
It is The Rise and Fall of James Ripley Osgood by Carl
J. Weber (Colby
College Press, 1959). It is really a very good and readable book.
|Howells and Dwight Bailey
NAME: Louis G. Bailey, Ph.D.
QUESTION: My great grandfather, Dwight Bailey, grew up in Jefferson,
Ohio during the time William Dean Howells was there and working for his
father at the Ashtabula Sentinel. They were the same age, but Dwight
contributed poems and short stories for the paper. A family history,
written by my great aunt, Nellie May Bailey Young, tells of an encounter
between the two families, and I quote: "Dwight's seatmate at school was
the brother of William Dean Howells. Their father was the editor
of the town paper. The brother would give Dwight copies of the
poems that William Dean had written so that Dwight could write a parody
to appear in the same paper."
I have examined microfilm copies of the Ashtabula Sentinel covering
the period from 1853 through 1856, and while I found many poems likely
written by William Dean, I found only one that might have been written
by Dwight Bailey. It appeared in the November 24, 1853 issue and
was titled as a parody on something. The complete title and the
first part of the poem were illegible on the microfilm, so I can't be
specific about them.
Can anyone comment about this matter? I am writing a history of
my family, and if I can locate one of the parodies written by Dwight
Bailey, I will include it together with a bit of background about William
|QUESTION: I am writing a biography of the American artist, author,
and teacher, Howard Pyle (1853-1911). Pyle met W. D. Howells in January
1890 and the two corresponded occasionally over the next several
years. Between 1891 and 1895, Pyle illustrated various poems by Howells
for Harper's Monthly, which were collected in _Stops of Various Quills_
(1895). In an unsigned Harper's Weekly article (July 11,1903), Howells
discussed Pyle's _Rejected of Men_ and he later included a Pyle story
in the book _Shapes That Haunt the Dusk_. So far I have located some
45 letters to and from Pyle and Howells, but I am eager to find more
examples from their rich correspondence. I urge anyone with information
pertaining to the Pyle-Howells connection to contact me.
|Source of Quotation
NAME: Leighton, Charles H.
QUESTION: Where is the following quote found?: "the sincere observer
of man will not desire to look upon his heroic or occasional phases,
but will seek him in his habitual moods of vacancy and tiresomeness. To
me, at any rate, he is at such times very precious; and I never
perceive him to be as much a man and a brother as when I feel the pressure
of his vast, natural, unaffected dullness.
|To answer Charles LEIGHTON's question, the quote he mentions comes
from Their Wedding Journey. (I am speaking from memory and
do not have a copy at hand. I hope I'm right!)
|Ashtabula Bridge Collapse
NAME: Frank Millard
QUESTION: On Dec. 29th 1876, the Ashtabula bridge collapsed in WDH's
hometown where his father continued as editor of the Ashtabula newspaper.
During which time WDH was editor of the Atlantic. Do you know if WDH
ever wrote about that tragedy?
|Lady of the
Aroostook: Canadian Edition?
NAME: Peter Tafuri
QUESTION: Regarding "The Lady of the Aroostook", I have what I believe
to be the first Canadian edition, but have been unable to find anything
about it. Briefly, it is bound in brown cloth, with stamped gilt lettering
and 2 scenes of Venice on the front board, 324 pp, dark green endpapers. The
publisher is Belfords, Clarke & Co., Toronto. The copyright
page is blank, but there is an
inscription dated 1879. Any information would be appreciated.
|Yes, you probably do have a Canadian first, but it is not a happy
first. This is a pirated edition put out by notorious piraters. Howells
was infuriated by its appearance and was active in trying to prevent
such editions, which imitated American firsts and cut the price and
stole profits. See WDH's letter to his father regarding this
piracy -- in the Selected Letters. It probably didn't do WDH's
temper and blood pressure any good to be around Clemens when this
topic came up!
|Howells's Books in Dust
WANTED: Early books by William Dean Howells in dust jackets.Specifically,
the green cloth books, with red and gold trim, published by Harper & Brothersbetween
1900 and 1921. These came in yellow paper dust jackets. I want
all titles, especially "My Mark Twain," 1910. Any of his books printed
in the 1890s in paper jackets also desired. (I am also interested, but
less so, in his Houghton Mifflin books from the 1890s which had heavy cloth
jackets and are more common.) Also interested in any information about
Howells dustjackets, even if you don't want to sell. Will pay well. Mark
Godburn, The Bookmark, 31 Academy Street, Salisbury, CT 06068. Email:
|Howells and Christmas
I am writing a book, "Merry Christmas, America," about how famous
and others have spent Christmas through the years, particularly those
with Christmas novels and essays themselves. I do have some information
about Christmas Every Day, but I would like more details about any other
I would like to know how Howells spent Christmas through the
Ohio to Massachusetts and New York. I had some knowledge of a William
Dean Howells Home in Belmont, Mass. Do you know if there are any historic
sites for Howells in the U.S. to visit, or does the William Dean Howells
Society itself have an annual Christmas celebration around his life?
PLEASE NOTE: I'd rather get all lengthy copy by U.S. mail only,
E-mail. If you would like to send me info on the Society, please do so
the following address: Patricia Bates, 115 A, Oakmont Drive, Mt. Juliet,
|Howells and Capital University
In a review of a 1924 Yearbook we have found a reference by one of the
Professors that William Dean Howells attended Capital University for
a time. This is something that we have never known before and wondered
if by chance you might have ever heard of. this? Capital was founder
as a Lutheran seminary and charted as a University in Columbus Ohio in
1850. Based on a time line it appears that the family lived in Columbus
at approximately that time period. Capital also had an Academy
which was a pre-college education institution..
James H Biddle
Director of Planned Giving
Columbus OH 43209-2394
614-236-6496 FAX 614-236-6147
|There is no mention of Capital "University" in the 1852-1853 diary
(see "'The Real Diary of a Boy': Howells in Ohio, 1852-1853," edited
by T. Wortham, The Old Northwest, 10 (Spring 1984), 3-40),
nor did I come across any reference to Howells' attendance in my
research for The Early Prose Writings of William Dean Howells,
1853-1861 (Ohio University Press, 1990), nor the work I am doing
on the political journalism of 1857-1858. Very likely Howells
could have participated in some of the activities sponsored by
the academy, but considering him in any formal sense a student strikes
me as unjustified by the evidence that we have.
Thomas Wortham, Chair and Professor, Department of English, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095
During his stays in Columbus, Howells, though young, was working full time
newspapers either for his father or for the Ohio State Journal. I
don't think he had time to attend school Also, since his father was
something of a free thinker (Swedenborgian), he might have objected to
a denominational college. Howells' reminiscences in Years of My
Youth are fairly detailed but make no mention of attending school. If
he did, it would be in the late '50s.
James L. Murphy
Ohio State University Libraries
|Howells's Poetry: Poems
of Two Friends
QUESTION: I am looking for information/criticism on Howells's poems that
are included in his and John James Piatt's 1859 Poems of Two Friends. I
a bit of trouble locating information of this early poetry. Thanks
|Here are some of the results of an MLA search on Howells and poetry:
Cady, Edwin H. "Howells in the Modern Tradition: 'Black Cross Farm'." Nineteenth-Century
Literature 45.4 (1991): 478-94.
Howells, W. D.. Pebbles, Monochromes, and Other Modern Poems, 1891-1916.
Ed. Edwin H. Cady. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 2000.
Engel, Bernard F. "The Genteel Poetry of William Dean Howells." Midamerica:
The Yearbook of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature 6
Madsen, Valden J. "The Poetry and Poetic Criticism of William D. Howells." Diss.,
Murphy, Brenda. "The Dean Celebrates His Birthday: Two New Howells Poems." Papers
of the Bibliographical Society of America 71 (1977): 368-69.
Murphy, James L. "The Poet's Friend? A Jab at the Youthful William Dean
Howells." Ohioana Quart. 29.3 (1986): 92-95.
Scharnhorst, Gary. "Howells's 'a South Sea Tragedy': A Recovered Poem." Explicator 51.2
---. "'a Little Scrap of Autobiography': A Lost Speech and Poem by W. D.
Howells." ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 4.3
|Howells and Melville
I am a second year Ph.D. student in American Literature. My
question is did Howells write a review, a journal entry,
etc. on Herman Melville. I am interested to read what Howells
had written. Daniel Pawiloda
|There is a review of Battle-Pieces in the Atlantic Monthly for
February 1867. This review appears in Selected Literary
Criticism: 1859-1885, volume 13 of the Indiana Howells edition.
Volume 21 has no mention of Melville.
You can also check Howells's "Editor's Study" columns, Criticism
and Fiction, and other volumes of Howells's criticism.
|Translation of "a la Marquise"
I am an Italian translator and teacher of translation theory
here in Italy. I am currently translating Howells' The Shadow
of a Dream for an important Italian publishing house. The
translation is being conducted on the 1970 Banta edition.
There is one point of the text which, despite my accurate consultation
of various sources, I haven't been able to understand, and I was wondering
whether you might kindly help me.
In Part III - NEVIL - there is this passage:
"Shocking! shocking!" said my friend, shaking her head, which
had grown charmingly gray, in a marquise manner, and evincing
her delight in the boldness with which I handled the matter.
The problem is: "IN A MARQUISE MANNER" which I provisionally
translated as "a la marquise" (in italics).
Thank you for your kind attention.
|Dear Mrs. Schiavi,
I have read your question. I am afraid I have nothing more to
what you have said. I have not re-read The Shadow of a Dream recently
(and unfortunately I do not have the Bloomington edition). Anyway, I
suppose "marquise" always has, in Howells's mind, a negative, probably
ironical connotation, given his aversion for aristocracy in general.
But of course it is implicit and mustn"t be made explicit.
Your suggestion of "a la marquise" sounds fine to me, and concise,
which is needed. However, I do not know the expression (I'm French).
Does the expression exist? That was my question. Is it one of those French
expressions that is used only in non-French languages?
Anyway, good luck with your translation.
The thought of translating Howells has already occurred to me! I really
would like to give it some thought one day (translating WDH into French).
But for the moment I'm writing a PhD on him.
I think that M. Tanguy is right: it may be one of those French expressions
that is used only in non-French languages. Oscar Wilde uses this phrase
in An Ideal Husband, as does Adelaide Stuart Dimitry's War-Time
Sketches: Historical and Otherwise. It seems to have been a common
phrase to describe a particular look of the hair or hairstyle (perhaps
gray at the temples?) worn by women no longer young. A history
of hairdressing or of costumes might provide a good definition. --D.
|Howells's "The Quest for
QUESTION: I read an article this afternoon by Stephen Knadler named "Strangely
Re-Abolitionized: WDH and Racial Repersuasion." The article concludes
with a quotation from something Howells wrote called "The Quest for
Nationality." I have searched everywhere I can think to search: indices
of biographies and major criticism, internet, Editor's Study index, etc.
but cannot track this article (?) down. Knadler's article has a Works
Cited, but this piece is not mentioned. Can you tell me how I can locate "The
Quest for Nationality"?
Thank you so much for your time--your website is wonderful!
University of Wisconsin-Madison, firstname.lastname@example.org
|John Updike and W. D. Howells
QUESTION: I am trying to track down a lecture that John Updike
gave on WDH a few years ago--I am sketchy on the details other
than the lecture was published as both a pamphlet and in a periodical.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
--Vicki Keller, email@example.com
QUESTION: I am trying to track down the occasion of a lecture
that John Updike gave on William Dean Howells. It would have
been within the last 5-10 years. Are you aware of any lectures
that Updike has given on Howells? --Abby Haywood
|In response to Abby's question, I'm pretty sure it was at the
Sesquicentennial celebration of Howells' s birth, at Harvard, in 1987,
John Updike gave the keynote address.
Best, Polly Howells Werthman
[material omitted] I mentioned a New Yorker piece by Updike on
H [in an essay on Howells and Updike] falling within the time period
the questioner refers to.
Hope this helps.
John Updike's "Howells as Anti-novelist" was printed in a limited
edition of 150 copies by the William Dean Howells Memorial Committee
in 1987. I'll quote the pertinent portion of Updike's "Author's Note"
prefatory to the essay:
"This talk was given at the invitation of the William Dean Howells
Memorial Committee on May 1, 1987, in Emerson Lecture Hall, at
Harvard, as part of a two-day celebration of the 150th anniversary of
Howells' birth. It was then published, somewhat amplifed and altered,
in _The New Yorker_ of July 13, 1987. This edition basically
reproduces the original version, addressed to an audience of
undergraduates and Howells experts."
Re. question #2: Updike lectured on Howells at Harvard, among
other other places (I believe). That lecture, which compares Howells
to James, and declares Howells the "winner" in terms of his impact
on the development of realistic fiction, was later published in
The New Yorker (though Idon't have the date handy).
Here is the reference of a lecture that Updike gave on Howells: "Howells
as anti-novelist" Kittery Point, Maine, the W.D. Howells Committee,
Updike also wrote a Preface to one of Howells's novels, Indian
Summer. The preface was written in 1990. Best, Guillaume Tanguy
|Howells on Manhattan Restaurants
QUESTION: For a book on the history of dining out in new York,
I would be interested to know of anything that Howells might
have written on Manhattan restaurants, especially Pfaff's. A
stray comment, journal entry, or the like would be valuable.
William Grimes firstname.lastname@example.org
William Grimes asks about Howells and Manhattan restaurants. Delmonicos
figures throughout *A Hazard of New Fortunes.* Roger Lathbury,
|I run a web site about the author Mark Rutherford (http://www.concentric.net/~Djfrench/).
Howells was a fan of Rutherford and had this to say about Rutherford's
first two novels:
"[The first two books] may yet mark a new era in fiction...they
carry so deep a sense of truthfulness to the reader, they are so
far in temper from any sort of mere artistry, they are so simply
and nobly serious." This was in Harper's New Monthly Magazine,
I was wondering if anyone knows of any other references to Rutherford
Thanks for any help
|What book besides The Rise of Silas Lapham and A
Modern Instance would you recommend for a book club?
Our book club has decided to "do" a work by William Dean Howells
and I seek an informed opinion as to which of his many works we
choose. I realize that "The Rise of Silas Lapham"
and "A Modern Instance" are perhaps his best known works but are there
some other works less known? The book must be available in paperback.
A VERY belated thank you for your efforts concerning works by
William Dean Howells for possible use by our Book Club.
In addition to your suggestions of "Indian Summer" and "A
Hazard of New Fortunes". Lance Rubin suggested "A Traveler
from Altruria" and "Hazard" and Gregory Stratman suggested "The
Landlord at Lion's Head", "Dr. Breen's Practice" and "Annie
Kilburn". Samuel Ludwig also responded but, in thanking him earlier
today, I deleted his suggestion. (I am a computer Luddite). Thank you,
again, for your efforts. Ted Sheehan
|"A Hazard of New Fortunes" is the most obvious and
readily obtainable choice, and it is a great novel as
For anyone, but especially such a group as this, I'd suggest Indian
Summer, composed before Silas Lapham but published
after due to problems with the supposed publisher, James Osgood & Co.
It's a good novel, and underrated.
The Lib of America put out an edition of just that one novel in
1990 with an introduction by John Updike. That introduction is
probably the reason that LoA put out a single novel--it doesn't
usually do that). Don't know if this edition is still in print.
Don't know if the novel is available in
After that, Hazard of New Fortunes--for a different Howells,
a somewhat disillusioned Howells. As New York differed from Boston
in the final decades of the 19th c. Cosmopolitan, full of immigrants;
bustling, even frenetic, and hectic. The novel is panoramic, not
as neatly controlled as his earlier ones, and at times borders
on a loss of narrative
control. This is available in paperback, last I checked.
|References on Howells
I am looking for references on Howells and for various texts by Howells
1.. the reference of a letter that Howells wrote to James in
which he says :
" I am comparatively a dead cult with my statues cut down
and the grass growing over me in the pale moonlight. "
The letter is quoted by K.S. Lynn in WDH, An American Life
(p. 13) and probably by Michael Anesko (Letters, Fictions, Lives).
The letter is probably in The Life in Letters of WDH, which
I have xeroxed incompletely, which is why I haven't found it, or
in the Selected Letters of WDH, which I haven't got.
2.. I am also looking for Howells's Preface of A Hazard
of New Fortunes.
3.. Three of Howell's radical essays :
'Equality as the Basis of Good Society' (November 1894),
'The Nature of Liberty' (December 1895),
and 'Who are our Brethren ?' (April 1896)
These essays were published either in Forum, or Century
or North American Review.
4.. The following articles on WDH, which I haven't been
able to obtain :
PORTE, Joel, " Manners, Morals and Mince Pie : Howells's America
Revisited ", Prospects, 10 (1985), pp. 443-460
KLINKOWITZ, Jerome : " Ethic and Aesthetic : the Basil and Isabel
March Stories of WDH ", Modern Fiction Studies, 16 (Autumn 1970),
Guillaume Tanguy (France)
|Re: The query regarding Howells' letter to James.
The letter is indeed in Life in Letters, as referenced by Lynn. It
volume 2, pages 349-50.
Here is the letter in total:
York Harbor, Maine,
June 29, 1915
If I wait to write you a fit letter, I shall write none; so here
faint response to the kind mentions you make of me in your "Mr. and Mrs.
T. Fields." I read it aloud to Pilla for our common pleasure; she
"her" if not him and last summer we passed a night at her house in
Manchester. Your paper relumed so many old faded fires, and cast,
precious of all, a tender light on your own youth, which used to abash
its worldly maturity. I remember Fields bringing me a story of
the question of whether he should take it, and my saying, "Yes, and as
more by the same hand as you can get." That is what young assistant
should be saying now; but are they? A change has passed upon things,
can't deny it; I could not "serialize" a story of mine now in any American
magazines, thousands of them as they are.
We are much at war for you over here; but we do not seem to
we are almost as bad as Russians who don't fight at all as they write. All
York Harbor is for the Allies, beginning with Mrs. Bell, who lives two
away from me. She still is the brightest of octogenarians. Perry
to see me before dooming himself to Hancock. He is your most pathetically
constant adorer, and on the whole I should say your worship was speading
among us. I am comparatively a dead cult with my statues cut down
grass growing over them in the moonlight.
There is now a great wash of young poetry on these shores,
some of it
not so bad. Pilla and I spend our days gardening by day and reading
night. We have a deliciously large, cool house -- no such oven
as we baked
you in at Kittery Point ten years ago. I am doing my miserable
which really make me sick; but I promised to do them. I end them
off to Venice. It is something awful and I wonder the more at the grace
ease with which you carry off your past in those two blithe books of
Your (sic) affectionately,
W. D. Howells
on Jack London?
QUESTION: Does anybody know of any direct reference to Jack London by Howells,
in either his letters or his criticism or? Seems a bit odd, as Earle Labor
recently pointed out, that Howells would totally ignore London, especially
during the younger writer's rapid rise to fame circa 1900-1904.Jonathan
|A Word for the Dead" Online?
i am currently working on an essay about the haymarket affair for a history
course taught by prof. daniel walkowitz at nyu about reform and radicalism
although i have already searched all the library catalogues accessible
to me, i could not get hold of william dean howells "a word for the dead" yet.
nevertheless i would like to include it in some way or the other into my
i would therefore really appreciate it if you could tell me any book or
website where the full text has been published so that i could possibly
approach the library staff with more specific queries. if any member of
the william dean howells society should be in posession of the full text
and could send it to my e-mail account (in case the text is not too long)
i would be eternally grateful.
anita wolfartsberger, mailto:email@example.com
|Re: The Query regarding "A Word for the Dead"
"A Word for the Dead" can be reconstructed easily from two books
The bulk of the letter, lacking the opening paragraph is included
in Cady's volume, The Realist at War, on pages 73-77. The
first paragraph is in William Alexander's book William Dean Howells:
The Realist as Humanist (Burt Franklin & Company, 1981) on
The Cady should be readily available, and it is the most of
the lengthy letter. If you would like a transcription of
the first paragraph from
Alexander, let me know.
| Peter Dump
QUESTION: I have been informed by the Globusz Publisher that
the article "American Literary Centres" was written
by William Dean Howells.
I am researching information on the Dump-Dumph family genealogy.
Within the body of the aforementioned text is the following line:
"...and Mr. George Ade and Mr. Peter Dump in their satires
form with those named a group not to be matched elsewhere in
Does anyone know where I can find copies of Mr. Peter Dump's
satires and/or further information about him?
This Mr. Peter Dump may be my great-great-uncle.
Mr. Harold L. Dump, firstname.lastname@example.org
Howells, Owen Wister, and Cowboys
QUESTION: I wondered if someone might be able to direct me to
a book that treats (or mentions) an exchange between William
Dean Howells and Owen Wister. The exchange involves Howells cautioning
Wister not to pursue writing a story referring to cowboys' sexual
practice. Thank you.
|Howells and the "Recent Literature" columns in Atlantic
I would like to know if Howells wrote the unsigned "Recent
Literature" columns that appeared in ATLANTIC MONTHLY. Specifically,
I am interested in the reviews published in 1874. I suspect that
he did not write these, but am not sure how to find out.
Thank you for your time,
Jonathan Daigle, dissertator
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Howells's Address on West 9th St.
COMMENTS: In 1891 when W.D. Howells first moved to NYC, he lived
on West 9th Street, then moved to 17th Street. Please give me
his address on Ninth Street. I am doing an article on important
authors who lived on West 9th Street. Thank you.
Howells' address in the late 1880's in NYC was
46 West 9th St.
That is how he was heading his letters by 1888 as cited in Life
in Letters.... Howells move to NYC from Boston was considerably
before 1891, I believe.
Gary Culbert email@example.com
Expression used by Howells
I am looking for the origin of an expression used either by
Howells or by a critic in relation to Howells. I think that it
also features in the title of a critical book on Howells. This
expression is :
" (there has always been) a little ideality in my reality ".
What I would like to find is the origin of this expression linking
IDEALITY and REALITY.
Thank you ! Guillaume Tanguy, France,