The questions and requests for help posted to this page
are those that were originally posted to Howells-L or
to the website.
If you would like to respond to one of the questions on this page, please
use the Query and Reply Form. Thank
Howells's Essay on Veblen
QUESTION: I have been looking for an "e-copy" of
William Dean Howells'essay on Veblen's The Theory of
the Working Class. Could the Society send me a copy?
All the e-texts we have available are listed on the Works
page; if it's not there, the Society doesn't have a copy.
Anyone who has an e-copy is invited either to send it directly
to this individual or to forward
it for posting (with due credit given, of course) to
the WDHS site for posting.
Update: There is a copy available here:
|Howells and the City
How did Howells view the American City? And also,
how did he present it in A Hazard of New Fortunes? I
would Like to see more information on Hazard on this web
Thank you! Lynnette 10/30/00
Answers to general questions like this one can best be found in the many
books and articles written on Howells. Check the list of Recommended
Works on Howells and the Recent Work on Howells bibliographies for other
suggestions. The reports of conference papers can also be helpful. As
this site develops, bibliographies on these topics will be available.
For now, you might want to check some of the critical essays written
on _Hazard_. Also, there's an interesting essay by Carrie
Tirado Bramen in the Spring 2000 issue of _Massachusetts Quarterly_
in which she discusses Howells's views about cities.
|Rise of Silas Lapham
I am a grad student doing research on _The Rise of Silas
Lapham_ and would like to know if anyone has info regarding the use of economic
v. moral and social speech in the novel. My contention is that the divorcing
of these forms
of speech is what leads to the "fall" in the Rise. Please respond via
address listed with the query. Thanks in advance!
Donovan S. Braud, Loyola
University Chicago 11/08/00
|Have you looked at Elsa Nettels's _Language and Gender in
American Fiction: Howells, James, Wharton, and Cather_? There's
a discussion of class as well as gender in that book that may
be helpful to you.
QUESTION: I want some comments on William's article---Editha.
|You should look at the books listed under "Recommended
Works," for some of them discuss "Editha." Here are some
articles on Howells's famous short story "Editha":
- Bellamy, Michael O. "Eros and Thanatos in William Dean Howells's
'Editha'." American Literary Realism, 1870-1910 12 (1979):
- Engelhart , Carl W. "Howells' 'Editha' - Toward Realism." Americana-Austriaca:Beitrage
zur Amerikakunde. Ed. Lanzinger Klaus. Wien and Stuttgart:
Braumuller, 1974. 3-9.
- Free, William J. "Howells' 'Editha' and Pragmatic Belief." Studies
in Short Fiction 3 (1966): 285-292.
- Furia, Philip. "'Editha': The Feminine View." American
Literary Realism, 1870-1910 12 (1979): 278-82.
- Harris, Susan K. "Vicious Binaries: Gender and Authorial Paranoia
in Dreiser's 'Second Choice,' Howells' 'Editha,' and Hemingway's
'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber'." College Literature 20.2
- Humma, John B. "Howells 'Editha': An American Allegory." Markham
Review 8 (1979): 77-80.
- Piacentino, Edward J. "Arms in Love and War in Howells' 'Editha'." Studies
in Short Fiction 24.4 (1987): 425-432.
|"Editha" and Realism
On Wed, 24 Jan 2001, Donald Foster wrote:
> I Junior at Ronald E. Mcnair High School doing research
on realism. Could You point me in the right direction in comparing the relationship
between Editha and George in "Editha"? How is their relationship depicted
more realistically than romantically?
|You might want to think about how people in love are usually
represented and then think about how Howells depicts George
and Editha. Is Editha in love with George, or is she
in love with the whole romantic idea of being in love? Does
George see their relationship in the same way? How does
the story show that he sees both the war and their relationship
in a clearer way than Editha does? You might also want
to think about why George is shown as having a sense of humor
(often associated in Howells's day with realism--think about
Mark Twain). To have a sense of humor about something, you
need to be able to see it clearly and realistically, and Howells
draws on this in his depiction of George.
The questions on this page might help you:
I´m currently writing a paper on Howells´ literary criticism
with a special
focus on Spanish literature, especially Cervantes, at Kiel University,
Germany. Could you name me some articles/links on this subject? Did Spanish
novelist Palacio Valdés ever comment on Howells in a critical essay?
anything to be found on the Spanish Influence on American literature on
Thanks in advance for your help! Jan Uelzmann
|NAME: Talia Chang
QUESTION: I am a second-year university student doing
a paper on "Editha." I am wondering about the ironies
and/or contradictions in Howells' characterization of the
media and their readers, given the fact that "Editha" was
first published in a magazine.
Thanks so much!
|NAME: cary bertoncini
QUESTION: I'm currently studying Howells' "The Rise of
Silas Lapham" in a graduate class. It seems to me
that the character of Silas is very derivative of Samuel
Clemens, but I can find no commentary on this anywhere. Some
of the causes for my thinking are: 1. Their
names - Colonel Silas Lapham/Samuel Langhorne Clemens (CSL/SLC
- anagram), 2. The fact that both build
somewhat garish mansions at the peak of their wealth costing approx.
just before financial collapse, 3. They both have daughters
devoted to their wives, 4. Both are most comfortable when
smoking a cigar and
Silas behaves embarrassingly at the Corys' dinner, similar to Clemens'
drunken performance that Howells' witnessed, 5. Silas is
in paint and
one of Clemens' most famous scenes from his own writing is the fence
scene from "Tom Sawyer." There are others, too, but these are my
motives for pursuing Howells' intentions thusly.
Any suggestions or comments?
Criticism on Howells and by Howells
NAME: Emre Demirel
I was searching for an essay or a critique about Criticism And Fiction
Howells but i could not find yet.Could you help me to find?It is so
urgent.Thanks from now...
|NAME: Kt :)
QUESTION: I am a junior at Broadalbin-Perth High School
in New York and i was inquiring about where i could find
some literary criticisms of Willian Dean Howells.... i
need them for a research project for english 11... any
assistants u could give me would be much appreciated....
|You can find literary criticism BY William Dean Howells online. Howells's
comments from his "Editor's Study" column and other essays
are available as links from our Howells's Works page at
If you are looking for literary criticism by other authors on
Howells's works, you can look through the recent bibliography and
the recommended books lists at
We don't have articles here at the site. You'll need to
go to a library to get them, or you can try sites such as Northernlight.com.
|Howells and Religion
QUESTION: I need to know William Dean Howell's attitudes
|Here are the results of an MLA search on Howells and religion:
Arms, George. "Some Varieties of Howells' Religious Experience." The
American Self: Myth, Ideology, and Popular Culture. Ed. Sam B. Girgus.
Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1981. 76-87.
Frederick, John T. The Darkened Sky: Nineteenth-Century American Novelists
and Religion. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 1969.
See also the two-volume biography by Edwin H. Cady, The Road to Realism and The
Realist at War, Kenneth Lynn's biography of Howells, Thomas Wortham's The
Early Prose Writings of William Dean Howells, and John W. Crowley's The
Black Heart's Truth. Howells's would also be a useful source.
|Howells's Moral Vision
What is Howells's moral vision and why is it incompatible with the realist
stance he claims to adopt in The Rise of Silas Lapham? The module
I'm doing is American Realism.
Tracy Bleach, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Editha as a violent
QUESTION: Hello. I am a high school student in Los Angeles.
I am writing a paper on how male authors portray "violent" women.
I am using Editha as evidence, and could use some
help on analysis. thanks
Knowledge of Mark Twain's Position on Religion
NAME: David Stroud, email@example.com
QUESTION: Seeking information on Howells' knowledge of Mark
Twain's position on religion.