Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) was the first writer from the United States to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1930. His novels, strongly critical of American society and capitalism include Babbitt, Main Street, Elmer Gantry, and Arrowsmith. His portrait appeared on a 14-cent U.S. Postal Service postage stamp in 1985, honored as a Great American.
Our Mr. Wrenn (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)by Sinclair Lewis
This charming 1914 novel—the author’s first—tells the tale of Mr. William Wrenn, a meek bachelor who works at a tedious job and dreams of traveling to exotic lands. His only escape entails frequent visits to the moving picture shows; but after a small inheritance comes his way, Wrenn is able to actualize his dream of going abroad. He
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This charming 1914 novel—the author’s first—tells the tale of Mr. William Wrenn, a meek bachelor who works at a tedious job and dreams of traveling to exotic lands. His only escape entails frequent visits to the moving picture shows; but after a small inheritance comes his way, Wrenn is able to actualize his dream of going abroad. He travels—and returns to New York City a changed man. In fact, this new perspective leads to positive changes in all aspects of Our Mr. Wrenn’s life.
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So tolerant of the little people and will just be a "spolier" an inquiring reporter
Sinclair Lewis's first (1914) novel, OUR MR. WRENN: THE ROMANTIC ADVENTURES OF A GENTLE MAN, has a title that says it all. The do- no-harm hero WIlliam Wrenn bumbles along before us from 1910, when he is 34, to 1913. He begins and ends in New York with a few weeks interlude of 'romantic adventure' in England. He is a man without a history or known family background. In The Souvenir and Art Novelty Company he is the ever reassuring 'Our Mr. Wrenn,' whose kindly signature on letters to customers (especially in the South) firms up the market for the firm's silly trifles.*** Wrenn is 'Mousey' to his artistic, mothering, condescending lady friend Istra Nash who teaches him to 'play' with her in England and later says a vaguely sentimental goodbye to him in New York.*** But Our Mr. Wrenn can roar if he has to, thrust under pressure into becoming for the first time the occasionally ferocious alternate personality 'Bill Wrenn' during a fist fight with a bully while working on a cattle boat to England.*** All his life Wrenn has frequented the Nickelorion Moving Picture Show and dreamed of foreign travel, to places the more exotic the better. But once abroad, a man with forty looming in his future, he finds that adventuring and 'playing' do not prevent a crushng loneliness and are no substitutes for having pals, chums and abiding friends, no matter how ordinary they are. He therefore returns to 'The Job' in New York and falls back into unimaginative contentment, soon wooing and marrying the kind hearted, non- artistic lingerie sales girl who lives in his boarding house, Miss Nelly Croubel. -OOO-