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William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was an American realist author. Born in Ohio, he was rewarded for his biography of Abraham Lincoln, used during the election of 1860, with a consulship in Venice. Upon returning to the U.S., he wrote for various magazines, including Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Magazine. He wrote his first novel, The Wedding Journey, in 1872, but his career took off with his first realist novel, A Modern Instance.

Howells also wrote plays, criticism, and essays about conteporary literary figures such as Henrik Ibsen and Leo Tolstoy, which helped to establish their reputation in the United States. Nevertheless, Howells's own reputation in American literature has waned somewhat, with his novels being considered "prudish." According to him, the vast majority of people who would read his works were women and he wrote in a way that would not offend them.

In 1928, eight years after Howell's death, his daughter published his correspondence as a biography of his literary years.

Books by William Dean Howells