The New Student's Reference Work/Howells, William Dean

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How'ells, William Dean, an eminent American author, known in the Old World as well as the New as novelist, poet, critic, dramatist and essayist, was born at Martin's Ferry, O., March 1, 1837. The son of a printer and journalist, he early became familiar with journalistic and literary work and decided to follow it as a career. His first contributions were to the Cincinnati Gazette and Ohio State Journal. From 1861 to 1865 he was consul at Venice, where he wrote his papers on Venetian Life. After his return he wrote for the New York Tribune, the Times, the Nation, the Atlantic and, later, for the Century, Harper's Magazine and the Cosmopolitan. He was editor of the Atlantic during 1871-81, and afterwards held a position on Harper's Magazine. His real success, however, was as a writer of fiction, among his most popular novels being Their Wedding Journey, The Lady of the Aroostook and The Rise of Silas Lapham. His farces, The Sleeping Car, The Drawing Room Car, The Elevator and The Mousetrap, are the best specimens of his humor. In 1904 he received from Oxford University the degree of Hon D.C.L. Mr. Howells has also published valuable literary studies, as Literature and Life, and suggestive studies of actual and ideal society, as A Traveler from Altruria; besides collections of poems.