William Dean Howells

(1604 words)
  • Michael Anesko (Penn State University)

William Dean Howells, a principal advocate for literary realism in the United States, was born on the first of March, 1837, in the Western Reserve region of Ohio. Three years later, William Cooper Howells (the novelist’s father) moved his family from Martin’s Ferry to the town of Hamilton, Ohio, where he continued his career as a country printer and edited a newspaper for the Whig Party. Pragmatic in his politics, the elder Howells was less orthodox in matters of religion, having converted from his family’s Quaker faith to the mystical doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg. Millennial enthusiasm eventually affected his political leanings, as Howells’s father embraced utopian socialism in the 1840s and, later, the righteous …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Anesko, Michael. "William Dean Howells". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2237, accessed 14 October 2015.]

Articles on Howells' works

  1. A Hazard of New Fortunes
  2. A Modern Instance
  3. The Rise of Silas Lapham