William Dean Howells: The Rise of Silas Lapham

(1021 words)
  • Michael Anesko (Penn State University)

From a career spanning half a century and a tally of works including thirty-five full length novels, The Rise of Silas Lapham remains conspicuous in the oeuvre of William Dean Howells (1837-1920) for its readerly longevity. Since its appearance in 1885, the novel has never been out of print, even while the author’s reputation has suffered the vicissitudes of changing tastes and shifting canonical preferences. Like one of its title character’s favorite fleet-footed horses, the novel came out of the gate at full gallop. London’s Saturday Review immediately declared that “The Rise of Silas Lapham is a novel which no one can neglect who cares to understand American character. Any one who wishes to g…

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. "The Rise of Silas Lapham". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7593, accessed 05 October 2015.]