2009

A Howells Script?I was going through my mom stuff and came across a script titled ” The Campbells of Boston ” by William Dean Howells and Chelsea Productions Co.
With it was a hand written letter asking a friend to read the script and respond. Do you know anything about this script ?

Michele James
mmjames@co.bucks.pa.us

I believe what you is an adaptation of one or several of Howells’ dramatic farces in which Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are recurrent characters.  All of Howells’ plays have been collected by Walter Meserve (The Complete Pays of W. D. Howells, New York University Press, 1960).  You might want to look especially at “Evening Dress,” “A Letter of Introduction,” “The Sleeping Car,” “The Elevator,” and  “The Albany Depot” (but the list can be extended on and on, I fear).  Howells wrote these plays (most of which were printed in the Harpers’ magazines) primarily for “private  theatricals” (families and friends would perform them at home), though they occasionally got on the professional stage.  After seeing one of these pieces at a theater in London, George Bernard Shaw wrote: “This little piece showed, as might have been expected, that with three weeks practice the American novelist could write the heads off the poor bunglers to whom our managers generally appeal when they want a small bit of work to amuse the people who come at eight.”
I should like very much to know more about your particular script.  Anything you might share would be appreciated.  I remember talking with Howells’ great-grandsons some years ago about the family’s desire for their ancestor’s works to be adapted to the cinema or television.  Even the novels are so dramatic, and the transition to this different form could be quite successful.  I’ve seen good scripts of both Silas Lapham and A Hazard of New Fortunes (which was scheduled for possible production on PBS), but the groups responsible failed to raise the needed funding.
Hope this helps.
Cordially,
Tom Wortham
PS I recently retired and moved to the country in southeastern Ohio.  I’m sorry to say that most of my Howells files are still in boxes and inaccessible (I’ve been working on finishing another non-Howellsian project).  But I vaguely remember having some notes on something called “The Campbells of Boston.” Fortunately, I’m soon going to be free to return to some Howells’ projects that have been too long on the back burner.
Article on Howells
Does any of the members have the article “W.D.Howells: the Future that Never Became a Present”, which appeared in The Last Good Land. Spain in American Literature, by Eugenio Suárez-Galbán?
Thank you very much in advance.
Antonio Vicente Azofra
Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes
Spain
Howells and Film My name is J. Bowers, and I’m a Ph.D. student in fiction writing, 19th c. literature, and early film adaptation at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I am working on a project about Howells’ relationship to photography and the cinema, and I am wondering if there are any articles (possibly during his tenure at Harpers) that include his reactions to early film. Searches on C19 and in the Harpers database are turning up nothing at the moment, but I wondered if there was some work that I’m overlooking.

Thanks in advance for any assistance,
J. Bowers

Periodicals to DonateI am seeking nonprofit institutions interested in acquiring any of the 200-plus periodicals from the early 1960s to late 1990s left by my late husband, Howells Society member Warren Kliewer (artistic director of the East Lynne Theater Company). These range from the obscure to the well known, from single issues to years-long runs, and are predominately literary and/or theatre journals. Additionally, I’ve multiple copies of Warren’s own publications.

I am offering any of these to nonprofits in exchange only for their paying shipping costs–or to individuals for a modest sum plus shipping. My primary concern is that they be used and cared for.
Please contact me for an itemized list, and please do forward this query to any possibly interested parties.
Thank you,
Michele LaRue
Email: ruedelarue@aol.com

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