Letters, Fictions, Lives: Henry James and William Dean Howells

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Overview

In this unique and long-awaited volume, Michael Anesko documents the literary cross-fertilization between Henry James and William Dean Howells, collecting 151 letters, nearly all the extant correspondence between the two men, as well as the most significant critical commentary James wrote on Howells and Howells wrote on James.

Scholars have long recognized the peculiar importance of the relationship between these two exponents of realistic fiction—their mutual respect and occasional animosity. But the record of their affinities and substantial differences has never before been so amply and compellingly established. Containing dozens of previously unpublished letters by James, and featuring a detailed biographical chronology as well as extensive interpretive commentaries that meticulously chart the development of this remarkable literary friendship, Letters, Fictions, Lives, edited to the highest standards of scholarly excellence, will prove an invaluable resource for scholars and students of James and Howells, and will hold great interest for dedicated readers of their fiction and for those studying epistolary issues and literary influence between contemporaries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Since the volume includes 75 previously unpublished letters, it is one of the most substantial and important collections of correspondence in American literary history....[Anesko's] essays—sophisticated in their insights, clear and direct in style, supplemented by detailed notes—provide the most penetrating analysis to date of James and Howells's relationship....Exemplifying the highest standards of scholarship, Anesko's work will be invaluable to scholars and students of American literature and cultural history at all levels."—Choice

"We have long needed proper access to the documents of the crucially formative relationship between two of nineteenth-century America's most important literary figures. Michael Anesko's magnificently scholarly volume of the James-Howells writings enables us for the first time to trace the story of their evolving and often ambivalent connection—as professional allies, as personal friends, as rival novelists, as critical disputants—and also gives us a vivid inside picture of the workings of imaginative and cultural power across a crucially transitional period."—Philip Horne, University College, London

"Even those familiar with the James-Howells relationship will be surprised at the extent of the interdependence of those two artists. And artists they were, carefully constructing credos and novels out of their energetic agreements and disagreements. Anesko's commentary and annotation solidly locate this classic friendship/rivalry in their lives, careers, and cultures."—David J. Nordloh, Indiana University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195061192
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Pages: 512
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Pennsylvania State University

Biography

Henry James (1843-1916), born in New York City, was the son of noted religious philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of eminent psychologist and philosopher William James. He spent his early life in America and studied in Geneva, London and Paris during his adolescence to gain the worldly experience so prized by his father. He lived in Newport, went briefly to Harvard Law School, and in 1864 began to contribute both criticism and tales to magazines. In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous works include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and three large novels of the new century, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907). During his career, he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 15, 1843
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      February 28, 1916
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63

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