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Howells's Family Tree
I have just discovered your website and wondered if you have any kind of information regarding William Dean Howells' family tree. He was my maternal grandmother's uncle and I have to confess that our family has never been known for keeping track of ancestors. I am, along with my sisters and cousins, now in the process of trying to find out as much as we can about him. Thanks in advance for any help you can give us. Susan Harrison Marchant
We don't have much of this information at the site, but here is an extract from Susan Goodman and Carl Dawson's William Dean Howells: A Writer's Life (2005) that may help you to research the topic further:
"Toward the end of his life, William Cooper Howells (1807-94 [WDH's father]) wrote Recollections of Life in Ohio, a spirited account of his family's origins and growing up in rural Ohio" (5). William's father, Joseph, was "the son of a woolens manufacturer from Hay-on-Wye in Wales" (5).
|Howells's introduction to The Swiss Family Robinson
I am preparing a bibliography of all editions of THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON based largely on my own collection. I would be interested to know whether Howell's introduction to the 1909 Harper edition (BAL 9796) has attracted any academic interest in the way of articles or other studies as I cannot trace any secondary material relating to it.
Rowan GibbsRowan.Gibbs@Paradise.net.nz 12/2/05
I am trying to find where WD Howells's papers, documents,
or his estate might be collected.Matthew Towles
The principal repository for Howells's papers is the Howells
Collection at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, although
some papers are elsewhere.
D. Campbell 10/25/05
|WDH as sculptor?
: Did William Dean ever create sculptures? I have three
dated 1889 with WD on back?
Ron Westspringfield , Ma, email@example.com
Venetian Life: Value of Volume?
I have a book written by William D Howells It is called Venetian Life authorised edition and has the date 1883 in it.In the 1st couple of pages there is a medallion by Larkin G Mead but there is also a signature by W D Howells. All the pictures have been stuck in the book.
Is this worth anything?
Jo Gardner Gardnjoan@aol.com
Larkin G. Mead was Howells's brother-in-law, his wife Elinor's
A specialist would probably have to evaluate this for you. Probably
the best source for finding out the value of a volume like this would
be a professional rare book dealer. To find the value of old books,
contact your local bookseller or check the prices for rare and used
books on www.amazon.com,, www.bookfinder.com, www.abebooks.com,
or other such sites. You can also contact the Antiquarian
Booksellers Association of America for information about finding
the value of a book.
If readers have another suggestion, please post a reply.
I have an extensive WDH collection. Venetian Life was in print for about fifty years, so the 1883 edition you have is not of great significance. The two later editions of notable value are the 1892 edition with the Hassam water colors and the limited edition of 1907 with the Garrett prints. The value of your book can be found most likely by looking up the Advance Book Exchange and finding what dealers are asking for it. If your WDH autograph is real, the value of the book would rise significantly, though WDH doesn't sell like Mark Twain. Most likely, the book has a moderate value, if it is in very good condition.
Gary Culbert 12/25/05
Howells's "The Pony Engine and the Pacific Express"
as a source for "The Little Engine that Could"
Question: I am reseraching the history of the children's story "The Little Engine
that Could" (see: http://tigger.uic.edu/~plotnick/littleng.htm )
One of the predecessors of this story was Howell's "The Pony Engine and the Pacific
Express." Is there any scholarship on the writing by Howells of this story? It
would also be useful to me know what church he belonged to ca. 1906 and if
there any records of lectures he gave in Ohio, ca. 1909-1910. Anything else
relevant (letters, etc.), organizations he belonged to that had elemetary education
as a focus, etc. would be very useful. Thanks.
Roy Plotnick, firstname.lastname@example.org 7/26/05
Familiar Spanish Travels review
I have been unable to find "The Bookman" magazine here in Spain, so I
would be very grateful if someone who has access to it could scan to
me or send me any other way the review on Familiar Spanish Travels, which
Bookman 38:387 Dec. 1913. because I need it urgently.Thank you very much
Antonio Vicente. email@example.com
PS:I would also like to thank Mr Gary Culbert for all the help he has
so kindly provided me.
Howells's "mania for self-sacrifice" and
Two years before founding Hull-House in Chicago, Jane Addams wrote
to Ellen Gates Starr about William Dean Howells's "tirade on themania
for self sacrifice."
I am interested to know what novel, short story, or essay Addams might
have had in mind in 1887. The information will be included in an annotation
in volume 2 of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams (eds. Mary Lynn McCree
Byran, Barbara Bair, and Maree de Angury), to be published
bythe University of Illinois Press.
Consultant to the Jane Addams Project
ellen_skerrett at wowway.com 2/24/05
|Several readers have suggested The Rise of Silas Lapham as
the most likely candidate for this reference. The discussion of _Tears,
Idle Tears_ (or "Slop, Silly Slop") in the dinner party scene, along
with other references, could be the "tirade on the mania for self-sacrifice"
to which Addams refers.
I found the following in the New Criterion (V. 10, #10, 1992,
online at: http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/10/jun92/howells.htm),
in "William Dean Howells & the practice of criticism," by James
"Howells thus drew a line beyond which his Realism would not go. There could
not be, he said, any "palpitating divans" in his novels."
I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me the source of Howell's term "palpitating
Corwin Ericson, cericson at external.umass.edu 2/23/05