A Modern Instance

Overview

The book's deliberately restrained title conceals a truly horrifying portrait of a socially appropriate, emotionally murderous marriage. Bartley Hubbard's wife, Marcia, is single mindedly possessive of him. Howells follows their move from a small town in Maine to Boston, the big city where they must establish themselves. Socially, they keep being shuttled between the middle class and the lower fringes of the upper class. There are plenty of well-done characters and, of course, there is a love triangle-all torment...

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A Modern Instance

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Overview

The book's deliberately restrained title conceals a truly horrifying portrait of a socially appropriate, emotionally murderous marriage. Bartley Hubbard's wife, Marcia, is single mindedly possessive of him. Howells follows their move from a small town in Maine to Boston, the big city where they must establish themselves. Socially, they keep being shuttled between the middle class and the lower fringes of the upper class. There are plenty of well-done characters and, of course, there is a love triangle-all torment and self-denial. Howell's inspiration for the novel was Medea.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781169337459
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/10/2010
  • Pages: 406
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

William Dean Howells was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on March 1, 1837. His father was a printer and newspaperman, and the family moved from town to town. Howells went to school where he could. As a boy he began learning the printer’s skill. By the time he was in his teens he was setting type for his own verse. Between 1856 and 1861 he worked as a reporter for the Ohio State Journal. About this time his poems began to appear in the Atlantic Monthly. His campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, compiled in 1860, prompted the administration to offer him the consulship at Venice, a post he held from 1861 to 1865. He married Elinor Gertrude Meade, a young woman from Vermont, in 1862 Paris. On his return to the United States in 1865, Howells worked in New York before going to Boston as assistant to James T. Fields of The Atlantic Monthly. In 1871 he became editor-in-chief of the magazine. In this position he worked with many young writers, among them Mark Twain and Henry James, both of whom became his close friends. His first novel, Their Wedding Journey, appeared in 1872. The Rise of Silas Lapham was serialized in Century Magazine before it was published in book form in 1885. A Hazard of New Fortunes was published five years later. His position as critic, writer, and enthusiastic exponent of the new realism earned William Dean Howells the respected title of Dean of American Letters. He died in 1920.

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