Seeking editionQuestion- I am seeking the Boni and Liveright edition of Howells’ Hazard of New Fortunes in a dust jacket. Does anyone have such an item?From: dchock7 at aol.com 12/22/07
Howells LettersHere are three original Howells letters which may be of interest, and of which I have a few questions.The first is tipped in to a first volume of Heroines of Fiction, Harpers, 1901. Plain paper, it reads as follows: “115 East 16th Street, April 8, 1901. My dear Mr. Johnson: The 14th of May will do admirably for me, and I expect without fail to be at the Institute dinner. Yours sincerely W. D. Howells.” I presume this is Robert Underwood Johnson. I am wondering what institute it is and if Mark Twain was a member.The second letter is tipped into a copy of Years of My Youth, Harpers, 1916. Stationary of the Partridge Inn, Augusta, Georgia. “March 10, 1917. Dear Mr. Ludlow [I think it’s Ludlow]. Nothing could well gratify me more than your letter; but such a letter is hard to acknowledge. The best I can do is to offer you my hand across the five years between us, and wish you a pleasant way over the interval. After all it is not such a bad thing being 80 after one has been 76; at least it is not a long time. Yours sincerely, W. D. Howells.” [The word “thing” was added above the other words, then crossed out; perhaps Howells intended to write “not so bad being 80 …”] Tipped in to the back of this volume is a photograph of Howells, possibly taken around 1917, reclining under a tree.

The third letter is on the letterhead of “The Ashtabula Sentinel, W. C. Howells editor, J. A. Howells & Co. publishers, Jefferson, Ohio.” Lined paper. “Sept. 5, 1864. C. A. B. Pratt, esq. Orwell [or something] Ohio. Do?? – Yours of 3d inst is at hand. In reply we would say it will be impossible for us to have your bills ready before Wednesday evening or Thursday noon. We shall endeavor to get you up a nice bill, but we cannot print 300 for less than $14 or $15. We state the price, because it is probably more than you ever paid before. Our materials and labor cost us so much more than ever before that we have to charge in proportion. Yours truly J. A. Howells & Co.” With “J.A. Howells & Co., Sept 5, 1864” written on back fold. I think W. C. Howells is Howells’s father, William Cooper Howells, but who is J. A. Howells? Brother, uncle? Does anyone know who C.A.B. Pratt was?


Mark Godburn
The Bookmark
Sheffield, MA
email: sheffieldbooks@verizon.net 9/29/07

J. A. Howells was WDH’s brother Joseph Alexander Howells.Gary Culbert
Howells MedalI’m considering for my master’s thesis an analysis of the two most recent winners of the William Dean Howells Medal: The Great Fire and Underworld. I’d like to analyze these novels with careful consideration of Howells’s major work and criticism, beginning what hopefully will be a long-term project to chronicle the movement of Howells’s realism in American literary culture.But before I do that, I must gather information about the medal itself. Here are my questions: Who serves on the decision-making panel? Is it every member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters? How can I find out what overseers of the medal noted as particularly important about the works they chose? Do the winning authors deliver acceptance speeches? If so, where can I obtain access to them?

I’d be grateful for any answers/suggestions you have. Thanks for listening.

Thomas 5/15/07

Howells QuotationI am writing an article for a magazine and am using the following Howells quote:
“There will presently be no room in the world for things; it will be filled up with the advertisements of things.”Could you tell me the Howells piece in which the quotation occurs, and the date of its publication? Thank you.

William Gillespie
Department of Communication and Media Studies 400 East College Street Georgetown, KY 40324


Howells at Rockport HarborI’ve heard that Howells was about to buy a summer home on Rockport Harbor, but was dissuaded by his wife when he unfortunately brought her to see the property during low tide. Any confirmation of this? And any idea when it occurred?
Larry Vincent
vincentdoc at aol.com 5/15/07
Dinner on March 26, 1892I am in possession of an original menu from what appears to be a dinner held on March 26 1892. there were a number of authors present (edwin booth, g.p.
lathrop, arlo bates, brander matthews, etc), but the Howells was the most notable. I am trying to identify what club, organization, or event hosted this dinner. If anyone can help shed some light on this i would be very grateful.
Sarah Blue
replies to: osarahblue@hotmail.com 5/10/07
“The Unexpected Guest”I have a small collection of books by William Dean Howells, including The Unexpected Guests, Harper & Brothers, 1893, Illustrated. My interest in Howells stems from his longtime friendship with Kate Douglas Wiggin. This story is hilarious and could have been inspired by one of Kate’s dinner parties where Mr. Howells was a guest.Could you tell me when and where this story first appeared in print?

Thank you for your response.

Glenys Tarlow 5/10/07


The Unexpected Guests was published as follows:1. In Harper’s Monthly, LXXXVI (January, 1893), 211-225.
2. Harper & Bros., New York, 1893
3. David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1897
4. Samuel French, New York, 1921Best Wishes,
Gary Culbert
gculbert at eastsidecatholic.org
Howells’s SignatureHi there, I’m just trying to find some samples of Howells’ signature. I have a book by him with two long inscriptions that might be signed twice by Howells??
Thanks for any help.
Bruce 5/10/07
Howells’ autograph is very distinctive. If you will send me your email address, I will scan his autograph and send it to you for comparison with your book.Gary Culbert
gculbert at eastsidecatholic.org
Dr. Breen’s Practice: Setting?One of my readers recently contacted me about a home in Manomet, Massachusetts that she says is the setting of Howells’ novel “Dr. Breen’s Practice.” I am trying to find out if this is true. Do you know if Howells ever summered in Manomet? The quiet beachside village is located about 40 miles from Boston.
If I can find proof, I’d like to write an article about the home, the book, and the author.
Please contact me if you have any information regarding this query.
Thank you,Casey Meserve 5/10/07
Howells and Rural LifeI am researching a PhD in post-Civil War rural American fiction, and wondered if there were any suitable novels or short stories by Howells that have a predominantly rural setting or are particularly concerned with rural life?Mark Storey
aaxms1@nottingham.ac.uk 5/10/07
Howells and MoviesMatthews, Brander. “Are the Movies a Menace to the Drama?” North American Review 205 (Jan./June 1917): 447–54.In the above cited article (448), Matthews quotes Mr. Howells from an unidentified paper in which he addresses motion pictures :

Howells: “The worst of it is that no one can deny the wonder of this new form of the world-old mime. It is of a truly miraculous power and scope; there seems nothing that it cannot do,–except convince the taste and console the spirit.”

Can anyone tell me where I might find the work in which Howells wrote this comment?

W. J. Rable

wrable at slu.edu 5/10/07

Venetian Novels of WDHGreetings from the UKI am currently compiling a Venetian Journal of events there from the founding of the city to the present day, and would very much like some help with WDH. My entry for him says that he was the author of Venetian Life and that “of his thirty-eight novels ??? were set in Venice.” Can you tell me how many of his novels do have a Venetian theme? I would be very impressed and even more grateful.

Best wishes

Robert Booth.robertsuzie at btopenworld.com 5/10/07

Howells GenealogyHas anyone done a genealogy of William Dean Howells?June Farmer
.juneefarmer at aol dot com 4/18/07
Hello….I just found this site and would like to respond to June Farmer, who asked about Howells genealogy in an email dated 4-18-07.
I am a descendant. My great grandmother (Callie Howells) was Wm’s first cousin. That’s all I know and would be interested in seeing anything that June has turned up as a result of her query.Thank you, Anne Peterson
ZerillaHello folks,Not being a Howells expert I don’t know if this is an old chestnut or not.
A scholar at our campus is trying to determine the origin of the name Zerrilla in The Rise of Silas Lapham). Did Howells make it up from whole cloth, or was there a specific incident or person involved? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,

Bruce T. Sajdak
North American Co-Editor
ABELL – Annual Bibliography of English Language & Literature

(contact the WDHS site if you would like contact information) 3/31/07

Howells and Mr. StoreyQuestion: I just acquired a letter by Howells dated June 7, 1890, Boston, to Mr. Storey (I think that’s it, or Stary?), discussing boys. Boys are savages, says Howells, and he mentions a club dinner he attended the previous night where a man who knew Henry James and his brothers when they were boys, said that when Robert James, the youngest brother, wanted to tag along with the older boys, they “stoned him home.” I am wondering who Mr. Storey was. The letter refers to a “mother of four readers” who evidently wrote to Storey. Was Storey the editor of a magazine for boys? Evidently this mother wrote a letter to the editor, and Howells is discussing that letter and the behavior & nature of boys in his letter. Interesting subject, given Howells’s book “A Boy’s Town,” published that same year, and his earlier editing of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and their many discussions of boy nature.
Mark Godburn, sheffieldbooks@verizon.net2/15/07
Could this be the sculptor William Wetmore Story, who was a friend of Henry James? James wrote William Wetmore Story and His Friends (1903).
HowellsWho is Hannah T. Laphane?
Does Hannah T. Laphane has any relationship with William Dean Howells?Rita Roberts, tadeau@aol.com 1-26-07
Do you have a reason for believing that Hannah T. Laphane knew Howells? This might help with your question.
Howells in EnglandI am writing on Howells’ Seven English Cities and would like to know where I can find out more about his stay(s) in England.Dr Shirley Foster, shirley at lettuce.force9.co.uk1-17-07
Criticism and FictionI am struggling to find chapter 1 – Criticism and Fiction (1891) Where might I find it online? Is anyone familiar with this excerpt and willing to help me with revision? Thanks.Caroline Thornton, aayacbt at nottingham.ac.uk, 1-17-07


Is this it?http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3377/3377.txt 

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