Talk:Stops of Various Quills

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The phrase "stops of various Quills" comes from John Milton's poem "Lycidas", written in 1637. Henry Pitz[1][2] (1895-1976), illustrator and Howard Pyle biographer, describes this collaborative work as "a labor of love"—where the "great kinship" that existed between author and illustrator is evident in "both text and picture."[3] Howells and Pyle both lost children early in the year 1889: Howells a daughter (Winifred), and Pyle a son (Sellers). Pitz relates how they "both suffered from interludes of melancholia" as a result—a term that you will find etched in illustrations on the pages of "November" and "Question."[4]

1895 edition[edit]

See the scan index for this edition.
See page images at Wikimedia Commons.
View an edition at

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 spine.jpg Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 cover.jpg

1896 limited edition[edit]

According to a December 1895 issue of The Literary News (p. 359), an "édition de luxe" was published (with a publication date of 1896), "limited to fifty copies, each signed by Mr. Howells and Mr. Pyle, with illustrations printed in sepia, and the full-page illustrations on Japan proofs in black." This edition sold for $15.

Author/illustrator signatures from the 1896 "édition de luxe" (MDCCCXCVI on title page). Limited to 50 copies.
"Good Society." A page from the limited edition with illustrations printed in sepia.


  1. Read a biography about illustrator Henry Clarence Pitz by his widow at
  2. A previous owner bookplate of Henry Pitz.
  3. Pitz, Henry C. Howard Pyle:Writer, illustrator, founder of the Brandywine School. (1975) p. 106.
  4. Pitz, 198.