FAQ

Writing about W. D. Howells
Who was Howells, and why is he an important figure in American literature? How do I cite a page from your site in my Works Cited page? 
Can I find Howells’s “Editor’s Study” columns online? I’m writing a paper on a Howells novel (or short story). Where can I find online criticism and journal articles about it?
Are any of Howells’s houses  still standing, and, if so, where can I find them? I don’t live near a library, and I’m not a student so I can’t get access to the articles this way.  Isn’t there anything else available? 
Were any movies made of Howells’s works, and, if so, where can I see them? Can you send me some articles about my topic?
I have an old copy of a novel by Howells.  Can you tell me about the book, including what it’s worth as a rare book? What books would you recommend for someone who hasn’t read much about Howells before?
Who was William Dean Howells, and why is he an important figure in American literature?
The biographical sketch at this site provides some answers to this question.
I’m writing a paper on a Howells novel. Where can I find online criticism and journal articles about it?  
The best criticism on Howellsis published in books and peer-reviewed journals rather than online. Many peer-reviewed journals are available online, however, through services such as ProQuest or Project Muse.  If you’re a college or university student, or if you live near a college or university, the university library will be your best source for criticism.  Most libraries will have several of the journals and books listed in the bibliographies. If not, they can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan.Many libraries will have access to FirstSearch, which includes the MLA Bibliography, and they will also have one or more of the following full-text databases. You can go to your local university library’s home page and see which of these resources are available to you. However, these resources are generally available by subscription; they are free only on-campus or to registered students and faculty.

  • Project Muse (Journals from Johns Hopkins University Press)(muse.jhu.edu)
  • Ebsco
  • Expanded Academic Index
  • Ingenta/UnCover (charges a fee of $12 and up for each article delivered)
  • UMI ProQuest Direct
  • JStor (www.jstor.org) (Back issues of journals, including American Literature
  • Omni Full-Text Mega
  • Gale Group Literary Index includes Dictionary of Literary Biographyand other reference works, such as the Twayne series.
  • NetLibrary offers some works relevant to Howells studies, but you or your school must be a subscriber to access them. It also includes the publicly accessible text collection from the University of Virginia, but that is already available for free from the links on the Works page.

You can find articles and books on your topic by searching the bibliographies at the Howells Society site or by using the MLA Bibliography. You will also find some short bibliographies on individual stories in the Queries and Student Queriespages, and you can search this site for other references.

I don’t live near a library, and I’m not a student so I can’t get access to the articles this way.  Isn’t there anything else available?  (top)
Frankly, since northernlight.com took its offerings off-line and changed to a fee-based service, there is very little available for individuals; the best is FindArticles , which offers some full-text articles.Amazon.com has also recently begun offering some scholarly articles online for a fee (usually $5.95).

If you anticipate being away from a library for a longer period of time and can afford it, you might try Questia.com. Questia.com has a lot of scholarly books and some articles as well as a number of Wharton’s works that are not otherwise available online, such as The Buccaneers. The site costs about $20 per month for one month.

My library doesn’t have an article you listed. Can you send it to me? OR Can you send me some articles about my topic? (top)
Sorry–we can’t do that.  The Howells Society site is staffed by volunteers, doesn’t keep articles in a central repository, and can’t send articles to individuals. Visit your local college or university library for articles on the topic, or see the question above for online possibilities. If you can’t get the article through Interlibrary Loan, try an online search for the journal title and contact the publisher directly.
What books would you recommend for someone who hasn’t read much about Howells before?
The Recommended Works list should help if you’re looking for materials about Howells. If you’re starting to read his novels, you might want to try The Rise of Silas Lapham (his best-known book) or A Modern Instance. There are also some good suggestions on the Queries page (scroll down the page about halfway for the list).
I have an old copy of a novel by Howells.  Can you tell me about the book, including what it’s worth as a rare book?
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.comwww.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.
Are any of Howells’s homes still standing, and where can I find them?
Howells and his family moved a lot. Several of the homes and places associated with W. D. Howells are still standing; some are privately owned. Here is a very limited list; other addresses will be added. If anyone reading this has more information about addresses, please send it in.Boston. Among other places, Howells lived at 302 Beacon Street, the “water side of Beacon,” as it is described in The Rise of Silas Lapham.Cambridge, Massachusetts

1866 Berkeley St., Cambridge
1872 37 Concord Avenue

New York City
Howells lived in several places in New York; more information will be posted.

  • Late 1880s: 46 West 9th St. (thanks to Gary Culbert for this information) (The New York Times says he lived here for 3 months)
  • West 57th St.Kittery Point, MaineHowells’s summer home is #36 on Route 103 in Kittery Point; it is used by Harvard University, which controls access to it. Some pictures of the property will be posted to this site in the future.

    St. Augustine

    The Alcazar Hotel was one of Howells’s residences. You can see a picture of St. Augustine circa 1900-1910 here and read a review of a new edition of Howells’s writing on St. Augustine here.

     

Can I find Howells’s famous “Editor’s Study” columns online?
Yes. These are available as page images of the originals in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. You can find specific columns by looking at the “Editor’s Study” page at this site.
Have any Howells’s works been made into movies? Are they readily available?
Surprisingly, only one movie–actually, a TV series–appears to have been made from Howells’s many works: an episode of the United States Steel Hour called “The Laphams of Boston.” 
How do I cite a page from your site in my Works Cited page?
This depends on the style your instructor prefers (MLA, Chicago, Turabian), but Diana Hacker’s site and a site from the Duke University libraries provide some good examples. Hacker’s site also includes examples of in-text citation.The MLA site also has good examples at http://www.mla.org/publications/style/style_faq/style_faq4.

Please note that although your Works Cited page should use hanging indents (i.e., indent the second line five spaces more than the first line), this can’t be done easily on a web page. Also, the web address URL may be on a separate line since the space here is limited, but it should not be (or does not have to be) on a separate line in your document. Adjust your formatting accordingly.

None of the examples at MLA or the other sites listed exactly addresses the materials at this site, so here are some possibilities.

1. For quoting from replies on the Queries and Student Queries pages.

This is adapted from the Web Forum Posting example at the Hacker site.

Author Lastname, Author Firstname. “Reply to Question.” Online posting. Date of reply. The William Dean Howells Society Site. Date you accessed the page. <http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells/hsqueries02.htm [or whatever the web address is]>.

Examples:

Tanguy, Guillaume. “Reply to ‘Translation of ‘a la Marquise.’” Online posting. The William Dean Howells Society Site. 20 Nov. 2005. <http://www.howellssociety.org/hqueries.htm&gt;.

Culbert, Gary . “Reply to ‘The Shadow of a Dream’: Translation Question.” Online posting. 25 Feb. 2004. The William Dean Howells Society Site. 20 Nov. 2005. <http://www.howellssociety.org/hqueries04.htm&gt;.

2. For quoting information provided on a specific page. (Note: Sources of information are given on individual pages. If the information is from another source, you should look up the original source.)

This is adapted from the personal site example on the MLA site, although it can’t fit the model exactly.

Author lastname, author firstname. “Page title.” Date of the page [this is found at the bottom of every page; MLA form requires only the date of the most recent update]. The William Dean Howells Society Site. Date you accessed the page. <http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells/pagename.htm&gt;. (Note: You can use either address, http://www.howellssociety.org or http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells)

Examples

Oggel, Terry . “Is John Updike our Howells?.” 9 Jan. 1999. The William Dean Howells Society Site. 20 November 2005. <http://www.howellssociety.org/oggel.htm&gt;.

3. Depending on your instructor’s preferences, you might also cite this page as part of a scholarly project. Again, the example below follows the MLA example, this time for a scholarly project. Using the information above, your Works Cited entry would look like this:

Examples:

Oggel, Terry. “Is John Updike our Howells?” The William Dean Howells Society Site. Ed. Donna Campbell. 9 Jan. 1999. Washington State University. 20 November 2005. <http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells/bio.htm&gt;

Campbell, Donna. “A Biographical Sketch of Howells.” The William Dean Howells Society Site . Ed. Donna Campbell. 30 May 2005. Washington State University. 20 November 2005. <http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells/hbio.html&gt;.

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