From his days of typesetting as a child for his newspaperman father to his time as chief editor for the Atlantic Monthly, William Dean's Howells lived the writer's life. His first poem was published at age 12, and by age 19 he had been elected clerk of the Ohio State House of Representatives. Two years later he went to work writing for the Ohio State Journal and eventually he would write for Abraham Lincoln's Campaign. Under Lincoln, he served as consul to Venice and upon returning to America began writing, and then editing for the Atlantic Monthly, where he was made chief editor in 1871. Howells' first big novel, A Modern Instance, was published in 1882 and he published several others, including The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), Annie Kilburn (1888), and A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890). Howells was a realist. He was a close friend to Mark Twain, and as editor at the Atlantic Monthly, and then later at Harper's Magazine, he promoted realism through his own editorial writing as well as through the work he accepted for publication. Later in his life he would be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he eventually became president of the Academy.
The dreamer is purely unmoral; good and bad are the same to his conscience; he has no more to do with right and wrong than the animals.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies.
If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.
"Patrick Madden is an essayist of verve, passion, wit, and dependable moral compass. Quotidiana drew me in powerfully, from page to page and from pleasure to pleasure." —Ian Frazier
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Quotidiana is an online anthology of "classical" essays, from antiquity to the early twentieth century. All essays and images are in the public domain. Commentaries are copyrighted, but may be used with proper attribution. Special thanks to the BYU College of Humanities and English Department for funding, and to Joey Franklin and Lara Burton, for tireless research assisting.