William Dean Howells’ tenure as the American Consul in Venice during the Civil War was doubtless the motivating factor for A Foregone Conclusion. Likely its storyline was beginning to form early, for, upon his return, his first journalistic work was to write an article for the New York Times about marriage among the Italian priesthood, a practice that he favored.
A Foregone Conclusion focuses on a Venetian priest, Don Ippolito, who seems to be ill-suited to his calling. He visits the American Consul, Henry Ferris, from whose perspective the story is mainly told. Ippolito hopes to obtain asylum in America by offering his services as an inventor to the United States government. He has created a self-…
Loges, Max Lester. "A Foregone Conclusion". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2015
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