Howells in SheffieldI am doing research on American visitors to my home town, Sheffield, in the nineteenth-century. Howells writes on Sheffield in his Seven English Cities and I assume that he visited here during his European tour of 1904-5. (My copy of the work is dated 1909, but I note that you indicate the first publication as 1906).
I wondered if you know of the whereabouts of any material relating to this visit? I should like to find out which hotel he stayed at, and the name of the knife manufacture which he visited. I have looked in the some of the local papers for this period, but cannot find any relevant information. Are there any extant letters, journals etc which might help me?
I’d be grateful for any assistance you can give me.
Shirley Foster (Dr)
Retired Reader in English and American Literature, University of Sheffield Shirley Foster <shirley@lettuce.f9.co.uk>
The Minister’s ChargeI am a student at Wesleyan University looking for some information about critical reception and sales for the Howells novel The Minister’s Charge. If you can help me out or point me to some resources that might have this information, that would be great!

Thank you,
Bryan Marsh

WDH and Edward Biron PayneIs there a known relationship and/or letters between WDH and Edward Biron Payne, a Christian Socialist and Unitarian minister who in 1894 founded Altruria, a Utopian community in Sonoma County, California ? The community was based on WDH’s A Traveler from Altruria. Thank you for any information.
“Editha” CopyrightI am inquiring about obtaining permission from the appropriate persons/groups to adapt William Dean Howells’ short story “Editha” as a stage production for private performance at the school where I teach English (9th and 10th grades) and assist with drama students (9th-12th grades). The production would be in-house, for academic use for students, in connection with the English curriculum and with the drama students’ acting and performance skills. I appreciate your help in this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you.


John Adcox

Parish Episcopal School

Jana Wilcox

Could you tell me where I may find a copy of Jana Wilcox? “Jana Wilcox or the Walls of the Labyrinth” came out in 1893, about eight years after the “Rise of Silas Lapham” and three years after “A Hazard of New Fortunes.” So by this time Howells certainly had a readership.

Incidentally, another impossible-to-find Howells title is “Their Silver Wedding Anniversary” (1899)

Thank you.
Robert Allen
The only mention of a novella by Howells titled Jana Wilcox was in a Wikipedia article on Howells that gives a brief summary and bibliographical reference: William Dean Howells, Jana Wilcox, or the Walls of the Labyrinth, Clara Kirk, ed.; Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press, 1969.  Now I knew Clara Kirk, even worked with her and Rudolf on the Howells Edition’s The Altrurian Romances (1968), but I certainly don’t remember her editing a novella by Howells titled Jana Wilcox. Nor do I find this edition (supposedly printed by Indiana University Press) either in the Indiana U library or at Rutgers (where Clara and Rudolf taught).   It does show up in on-line reference guides derived from Wikipedia, though it does not appear on the current English-version of that on-line encyclopedia, but it is listed in the bibliography of works by Howells in the Italian-version.  This item must be a ghost, though why anyone should have made up the Clara Kirk edition is a mystery.  Clara used to carry around a treasure trove in her purse (I remember once when there was cocktail party discussion about where WDH lived at a certain time, and she pulled out of said purse a list of all his known addresses.  Were she still with us, I’d ask her to look in that purse for Jana Wilcox.  She was quite a wonderful person and I greatly admired her passion and dedication.
As for Their Silver Wedding Anniversary (G&A 99-C), a number of copies are available from dealers listing their stock in ABEBooks.com, most at very reasonable prices.–Thomas Wortham


You can buy copies of “Their Silver Wedding Journey” at Amazon.com, paperback and Kindle editions both available.  It can also be found at the Gutenberg Project site: http://ebooks.lib.ntu.edu.tw/1_file/Gutenberg/4646/4646.txt

Hsin-ying Sherry Li
Associate Professor of English
National Taiwan University

WDH Sonnet to Dorothy Dudley

Do you know of a sonnet by Howells to Dorothy Dudley? It is quoted in the Morning Star newspaper of Wilmington on January 6, 1876. I have been unable to find a record of this elsewhere. It is as follows:

Fair maiden, whom a hundred summers keep

Forever seventeen, and whose dark locks

Are whitened only by the powderbox;

After these many winters: on the steep

Of high-heeled shoes, and with the silken sweep

Of quaint brocade, and an arch smile that mocks

At Time’s despite, they lovely semblance walks,

This year, our continent from deep to deep,

At numberless Centennial tea parties,

With chicken salad, coffee, chocolate

For retrospective youth, whose bosoms swell

(When they behold thee and thy pleasant freight)

With love of country, and each patriot sees

Thy charm in all that thou dost chronicle.


Lynn Hillenbrand


 Howells’ sonnet, “Dorothy Dudley” was published in Theatrum Majorum. The Cambridge of 1776: . . . with which is incorporated the diary of Dorothy Dudley (Cambridge: The Ladies’ Centennial Committee . . ., 1876). The book is listed in Gibson & Arms (76-A) and available on Google Books. Howells’s sonnet appears on page 1.–Thomas Wortham



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