Venetian Life

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, ...

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Venetian Life (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426422089
  • Publisher: BiblioBazaar
  • Publication date: 1/15/2007
  • Pages: 270

Table of Contents

I. Venice in Venice 1
II. Arrival and First Days in Venice 15
III. The Winter in Venice 25
IV. Comincia Far Caldo 37
V. Opera and Theaters 49
VI. Venetian Dinners and Diners 59
VII. Housekeeping in Venice 67
VIII. The Balcony on the Grand Canal 89
IX. A Daybreak Ramble 99
X. The Mouse 105
XI. Churches and Pictures 111
XII. Some Islands of the Lagoons 125
XIII. The Armenians 141
XIV. The Ghetto and the Jews of Venice 151
XV. Some Memorable Places 161
XVI. Commerce 175
XVII. Venetian Holidays 191
XVIII. Christmas Holidays 217
XIX. Love-Making and Marrying; Baptisms and Burials 227
XX. Venetian Traits and Characters 243
XXI. Society 265
XXII. Our Last Year in Venice 293
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