William Dean Howells

(1837-1920 / United States)

William Dean Howells
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Born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, originally Martinsville, to William Cooper and Mary Dean Howells, Howells was the second of eight children. His father was a newspaper editor and printer, and moved frequently around Ohio. Howells began to help his father with typesetting and printing work at an early age. During 1852, his father arranged to have one of Howells' poems published in the Ohio State Journal without telling him.

During 1856, Howells was elected as a Clerk in the State House of Representatives. During 1858, he began to work at the Ohio State Journal where he wrote poetry, short stories, and also translated pieces from French, Spanish, and German. He avidly studied German and... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.''
    William Dean Howells (1837-1920), U.S. novelist, critic. Letter, April 6, 1903, to editor Charles Eliot Norton.
  • ''Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week.''
    William Dean Howells (1837-1920), U.S. novelist, critic. Attributed.
  • ''In Europe life is histrionic and dramatized, and ... in America, except when it is trying to be European, it is direct and sincere.''
    William Dean Howells (1837-1920), U.S. novelist, critic. "Their Silver Wedding Journey," Harper's (New York, September 1899).
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