William Dean Howells



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.

(Compiled by Joey Franklin)

See also

Essays by William Dean Howells

I talk of dreams

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 by Patrick Madden

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