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William Dean Howells
Biographical Information

Sex:
Age:83
Birth Date:March 1, 1837
Astrology Sign:Pisces
Chinese Sign: -
Birth Name:
Birth Place:
Died Date:May 11, 1920
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Occupation:US novelist

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WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS
William Dean Howells

Biography:William Dean Howells (March 1, 1837 - May 11, 1920) was an American realist author and literary critic.

Born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, originally Martinsville, to William Cooper and Mary Dean Howells, Howells was the second of eight children. His father was a newspaper editor and printer, and the father moved frequently around Ohio. Howells began to help his father with typesetting and printing work at an early age. In 1852, his father arranged to have one of Howells' poems published in the Ohio State Journal without telling him.

In 1856, Howells was elected as a Clerk in the State House of Representatives. In 1858, he began to work at the Ohio State Journal where he wrote poetry, short stories, and also translated pieces from French, Spanish, and German. He avidly studied German and other languages and was greatly interested in Heinrich Heine. In 1860, he visited Boston and met with American writers J. T. Fields, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson

Said to be rewarded for a biography of Abraham Lincoln used during the election of 1860, he gained a consulship in Venice. On Christmas Eve 1862, he married his wife Elinor Mead at the American embassy in Paris. Upon returning to the U.S., he wrote for various magazines, including Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Magazine. From 1866, he became an assistant editor for the Atlantic Monthly and was made editor in 1871, remaining in the position until 1881. In 1869, he first met Mark Twain, which sparked a longtime friendship. Even more important for the development of his literary style--his advocacy of Realism--was his relationship with the journalist Jonathan Baxter Harrison, who in the 1870s wrote a series of articles for the Atlantic Monthly on the lives of ordinary Americans (Fryckstedt 1958).

He wrote his first novel, The Wedding Journey, in 1872, but his literary reputation took off with the realist novel, A Modern Instance, published in 1882, which described the decay of a marriage. His 1885 novel The Rise of Silas Lapham is perhaps his best known, describing the rise and fall of an American entrepreneur in the paint business. His social views were also strongly reflected in the novels Annie Kilburn (1888) and A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890). He was particularly outraged by the trials resulting from the Haymarket Riot.

Howells also wrote plays, criticism, and essays about contemporary literary figures such as Henrik Ibsen, Émile Zola, Giovanni Verga, Benito Pérez Galdós, and, especially, Leo Tolstoy, which helped establish their reputations in the United States. He also wrote critically in support of American writers Hamlin Garland, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles W. Chesnutt, Abraham Cahan, and Frank Norris. It is perhaps in this role that he had his greatest influence. In his "Editor's Study" column at the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper's, he formulated and disseminated his theories of "realism" in literature.

In 1904, he was one of the first seven chosen for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he became president. In 1928, eight years after Howells' death, his daughter published his correspondence as a biography of his literary years.


Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

William Dean Howells's Personality Tarot Card The Hierophant - Personality Card

Birthday: March 1, 1837

Guidance on religious matters and the need to find spiritual meaning in life.


This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

William Dean Howells's Growth Tarot Card Strength

Birthday: March 1, 2011

A time for self-awareness involving courage, strength, and determination.

 

 

 

Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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