Venetian Life

Venetian Life

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by William Dean Howells, Joseph Pennell
     
 

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In 1860, W. D. Howells, having written a campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, was rewarded with the job of consul in Venice.

He arrived in Venice in 1862, at the age of twenty-five. For a young nineteenth-century American who had left school when he was nine to earn a living, the hardest part of his sinecure was that he had almost nothing to do. "I dreaded the

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Overview

In 1860, W. D. Howells, having written a campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, was rewarded with the job of consul in Venice.

He arrived in Venice in 1862, at the age of twenty-five. For a young nineteenth-century American who had left school when he was nine to earn a living, the hardest part of his sinecure was that he had almost nothing to do. "I dreaded the easily formed habit of receiving a salary for no service performed," he wrote. "I reminded myself that, soon or late, I must go back to the old fashion of earning money, and that it had better be sooner than later."

And so -- "though for some reasons it was the saddest and strangest thing in the world to do" -- Howells left Venice. While he was on the whole happy to do so, Howells said upon his departure, "Never had the city seemed so dream-like and unreal as in this light of farewell."

Venetian Life flows from the enchantment, the magical improbability, of the years Howells spent in that magnificent city dining with the rich, mingling with the humble, and reporting on it all with a uniquely American wit and curiosity.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Here is the convoluted bibliography history: This is a reprint of the Northwestern University Press reprint, which reprinted the 1989 Marlboro Press reprint of the 1885 edition of W.D. Howells' classic, first published in 1866. The book is distributed by Northwestern U. Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780910395472
Publisher:
Marlboro Press, Inc., The
Publication date:
03/07/1991
Series:
Notable American Authors
Pages:
319
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.47(h) x 1.00(d)

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