William Dean Howells: A Modern Instance

(1185 words)
  • Michael Anesko (Penn State University)

The publication of A Modern Instance in 1882 marked a turning point in the career of William Dean Howells (1837-1920), who abandoned the editorship of the Atlantic Monthly – the standard bearer among American literary periodicals – just as he was embarking on what was to be his most ambitious novel to date. From his early years on the Ohio frontier, Howells had dreamed of securing the esteem of the pillars of New England literary culture; and against many odds he largely had won it by the 1870s, when he was brought forward to edit the Atlantic. A Modern Instance chronicles the life of a far less reputable literary man – an ambitious journalist named Bartley Hubbard – who is neither afraid nor …

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Anesko, Michael. "A Modern Instance". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7045, accessed 01 October 2016.]