Howells Quotation on KosciuskoQUESTION: Looking for source of a quotation found in the introduction to documentary drama “Year One of the Empire” concerning the anti-imperialist strugggle at the turn of the 19th-20th century, and the issue of war in the Phillipines: “freedom…will never again shriek when Kosciusko falls.” No citation is given for this and another quotation (“son of the morning”) from Howells used in the introduction.bbatorsk@nj.devry.edu12/31/03
Synopsis for The Lady of the AroostookGood day!

I am an author of literary encyclopedia and think, you can help me. I need
to synopsis of The Lady of the Aroostook by Howells. If you can, please mail
me some information.

Thank you.


Howells and Southern FictionI’m trying to determine how much southern fiction Howells had read and, specifically, whether he had read any novels by Augusta Jane Evans (Wilson). While I’ve found texts dealing with Howells’ attitudes about the South, I’m still searching for a comprehensive list of texts in his library or a list of texts he had definitively read. Thanks!
Bradley Johnson


Holmes’s letters to HowellsQUESTION: I’ve read Howells’s letters to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., but I’ve been unable to determine whether or not Holmes’s letters to Howells exist and whether or not they’ve been published anywhere. Does anyone know anything more about this relationship? It seems to have been limited to a short period of correspondence before the Civil war, so both men were quite young.Stephen H. Wells swells@ccac.edu
According to William Moddelmog, Reconstructing Authority (2000), p. 39,
“Howells and Holmes had been youthful friends; they met at the house of Holmes’s famous father in 1860 and established a correspondence in which they exchanged poems and philosophical essays. The correspondence, however, ceased with the Civil War, which Holmes attended as a soldier and which Howells, significantly, did not.”Moddelmog inserts a footnote here which elaborates somewhat on the H and H relationship via Holmes’s father, the Autocrat, by citing from Howells’s Literary Friends and Acquaintance, pp. 46-47.Hope this helps a bit.

Terry Oggel

Howells and ChekovQUESTION: I am working on The Son of Royal Langbrith, and am looking in particular at chapter XIV, pp. 83-84 (in the Indiana U. P. edition). Judge Garley makes a reference to a study of a Russian Island (Sakhalin, as the note indicates). The note also mentions a book on Sakhalin by Hawes.
I was wondering if Howells could have had in a mind a book by Chekhov, The Island of Sakhalin, serialized in Russia in 1893 and published in book form in 1895.
The only hitch is :
Could Howells have possibly read it by the time he wrote Royal Langbrith ?
When was it translated into English ? or into French, or into another language which he knew (Spanish, Italian & German) ?
I don’t think that he knew Russian, but I may be wrong.I have read extracts of Chekhov’s book. It does not express the theory of remorse expressed by Garley, but I think Howells could very well have reinterpreted & modified the book in order to make his point.
I would be very interested to have you opinion on this and would be very grateful if you could enlighten me.

Thank you,
Guillaume Tanguy.


Lady of the AroostookI’m hoping that you can help me. I have a LADY OF THE AROOSTOOK with a brown hardback cover and spine stamped with gold text. 10cm x 13cm approx (pocket edition, in one shilling volumes??) . It was published by Edinburgh University Press

The text a couple of pages in reads:
(then a picture)
Authors Edition
I would be grateful for any information that you can give me,

Many thanks,


Dear Hadar, I just came across your inquiry about the Douglas edition of The Lady of the Aroostook. I might be able to give you a few details on it. Douglass published a series of Howells’ books in the early 1880’s. I have the same edition you have in a matched set of thirteen volumes which was once sent by the publisher to WDH’s brother Joseph. Each volume of this set has written on the title page “J. A. Howells Presented by David Douglas Edinburg, Scotland.” The books also have J. A. Howells’ small Jefferson, Ohio bookplates. Your copy, like mine, probably lists ten volumes in the page facing the title page, but the set I own shows the continuing publishing effort, as it is uniformly bound in thirteen volumes. My binding is in a dark green floral hardcover. “American Authors” is in the lower right quadrant of the cover. The book title is in gold in the upper left part of the cover. The book is not a first printing, though, as I have another copy which is two volumes bound as one. The title page date for this book is 1882, so the book had been out two years prior to the 1884 edition. My note says that this was the only British edition of Aroostook listed. This book is in plain oxblood dark cloth with the title in gold on the thickish spine. This book is also a part of a set of six similarly bound volumes. I hope this comparison helps you with your inquiry. Gary Culbert
Howells Criticism on Jack London? 
QUESTION: Does anybody know of any direct reference to Jack London by Howells, in either his letters or his criticism or? Seems a bit odd, as Earle Labor recently pointed out, that Howells would totally ignore London, especially during the younger writer’s rapid rise to fame circa 1900-1904.Jonathan Auerbachja44@umail.umd.edu
Peter DumpQUESTION: I have been informed by the Globusz Publisher that the article “American Literary Centres” was written by William Dean Howells.I am researching information on the Dump-Dumph family genealogy. Within the body of the aforementioned text is the following line:

“…and Mr. George Ade and Mr. Peter Dump in their satires form with those named a group not to be matched elsewhere in the country….”

Does anyone know where I can find copies of Mr. Peter Dump’s satires and/or further information about him?

This Mr. Peter Dump may be my great-great-uncle.

Mr. Harold L. Dump, pjhh@iland.net


Howells, Owen Wister, and CowboysQUESTION: I wondered if someone might be able to direct me to a book that treats (or mentions) an exchange between William Dean Howells and Owen Wister. The exchange involves Howells cautioning Wister not to pursue writing a story referring to cowboys’ sexual practice. Thank you.
Karen Chandler


Here is a reference that might help. Melody Graulich’s “What if Wister were a Woman?” (Reading The Virginian in the New West, 2003) notes this incident: “Feeling judged by his father for his ‘failures’ at business and law, Wister wrote a novel, A Wise Man’s Son, ‘the story of a young man whose father forced him into business.’ He sent it to the man he considered a ‘mentor,’ W. D. Howells, who recommended that Wister not show such a ‘rebellious’ work to a publisher” (205). Graulich cites Payne’s Owen Wister , p. 74, as the source.D. Campbell, 10-5-04
Howells and the “Recent Literature” columns in AtlanticI would like to know if Howells wrote the unsigned “Recent Literature” columns that appeared in ATLANTIC MONTHLY. Specifically, I am interested in the reviews published in 1874. I suspect that he did not write these, but am not sure how to find out.Thank you for your time,

Jonathan Daigle, dissertator
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Howells’s Address on West 9th St.COMMENTS: In 1891 when W.D. Howells first moved to NYC, he lived on West 9th Street, then moved to 17th Street. Please give me his address on Ninth Street. I am doing an article on important authors who lived on West 9th Street. Thank you.


Howells’ address in the late 1880’s in NYC was46 West 9th St.

That is how he was heading his letters by 1888 as cited in Life in Letters…. Howells move to NYC from Boston was considerably before 1891, I believe.

Best wishes,
Gary Culbert gculbert@echs.bellevue.wa.us

Expression used by HowellsI am looking for the origin of an expression used either by Howells or by a critic in relation to Howells. I think that it also features in the title of a critical book on Howells. This expression is :

” (there has always been) a little ideality in my reality “.

What I would like to find is the origin of this expression linking IDEALITY and REALITY.

Thank you ! Guillaume Tanguy, France,



Irony in The Rise of Silas Lapham 

QUESTION: i was wondering if anyone had any examples of irony from the rise of silas lapham. i have several already but was hoping to find some more. also does anyone have any links to any criticisms on this topic. any help you can give would be great. thanks in advance.Chris Cummins bmwfanatic@aol.com


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? Thanks.

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.
Howells at the Chelsea Hotel
I am a graduate student working on a paper. Does anyone have a solid reference showing that Howells lived at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. And, which years he was there?
Thank you.

Liz Block



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