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1. Through the Eye of the NeedleA
2. A Modern Instance
$9.95
3. Biography - Howells, William Dean
4. Their wedding journey, by William
 
5. Selected Mark Twain-Howells letters,
 
6. SEBASTOPOL. Translated from the
 
7. Hither and thither in Germany
 
8. Letters home. by W. D. Howells.
 
$28.48
9. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham
 
$28.48
10. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham
 
$17.75
11. Evening Dress: Farce
 
$28.48
12. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham
 
$28.48
13. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham
 
$25.32
14. Letters Home
 
$24.02
15. Through The Eye Of The Needle;
 
16. OVERHEARD In ARCADY.
 
17. A Parting and a Meeting : Story
 
$24.74
18. Criticism And Fiction
 
$28.48
19. Their silver wedding journey Volume
 
$24.02
20. Suburban Sketches

1. Through the Eye of the NeedleA Romance
by William Dean, 1837-1920 Howells
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKS4JK
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


2. A Modern Instance
by William Dean, 1837-1920 Howells
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKS4LI
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of realism. One of the most important works of American Literature.
This is a duplicate review of mine that was posted on an out of print copy of this book. I wanted to copy/paste it on here, as it is the only version of this book on amazon that is in stock.

I was introduced to this impressive novel by someone who has a taste for great authors, regardless if they are well known or not. William Dean Howells is not well known. He can be said to be the father of realism in the American literary uprising in the late 19th century, having influenced and discovered such American greats as Henry James and Mark Twain. He can be said to be their father, in a comical sort of way. From where I stand, among all Howell's books, A Modern Instance is his masterpiece.

This book is the very archetype of a realism novel that amasses tragedy, jealously, (of course love) and death. It can be a hard read towards the end for it is exceptional in its descriptions: of settings and characters so much so that you will live vicariously through ever character in this novel. If I am to be let free in this review, it could easily stretch to 2,000 words for there is much to say about so many nuances but I will save you the time.

A brief summary is that it follows a very young couple whom get married without the consent from the wife's parents, starting on a destructive path from the beginning. She is overzealous and fictionalized in her love for Bartley (the husband), that, for Bartley, anything he could share or feel emotionally would sorely be too little. As they go further and further into their marriage, which doesn't span but a couple years, Bartley destructs and withers, while Marcia (the wife) does the same.

This book is overflowing with irony, and the characters will leave you analyzing them for months after putting the novel down. This indeed ranks as one of the top, if not THE top, great realism novels coming out of American literature.

Now, if you have not heard of the book, or the author, stop whatever you are doing and search out the book. If not, you will be missing out on the likes of one of the most powerful authors to come out of the 19th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Add William Dean Howells to the list of great realism authors.
I was introduced to this impressive novel by someone who has a taste for great authors, regardless if they are well known or not. William Dean Howells is not well known. He can be said to be the father of realism in the American literary uprising in the late 19th century, having influenced and discovered such American greats as Henry James and Mark Twain. He can be said to be their father, in a comical sort of way. From where I stand, among all Howell's books, A Modern Instance is his masterpiece.

This book is the very archetype of a realism novel that amasses tragedy, jealously, (of course love) and death. It can be a hard read towards the end for it is exceptional in its descriptions: of settings and characters so much so that you will live vicariously through ever character in this novel. If I am to be let free in this review, it could easily stretch to 2,000 words for there is much to say about so many nuances but I will save you the time.

A brief summary is that it follows a very young couple whom get married without the consent from the wife's parents, starting on a destructive path from the beginning. She is overzealous and fictionalized in her love for Bartley (the husband), that, for Bartley, anything he could share or feel emotionally would sorely be too little.As they go further and further into their marriage, which doesn't span but a couple years, Bartley destructs and withers, while Marcia (the wife) does the same.

This book is overflowing with irony, and the characters will leave you analyzing them for months after putting the novel down. This indeed ranks as one of the top, if not THE top, great realism novels coming out of American literature.

Now, if you have not heard of the book, or the author, stop whatever you are doing and search out the book. If not, you will be missing out on the likes of one of the most powerful authors to come out of the 19th century.

4-0 out of 5 stars Howells examines divorce, 19th century style
William Dean Howells (1837-1920) ranks as one of America's most important authors. Ever heard of him? I hadn't either until I stumbled over his name several years ago, back when I was reading Frank Norris and Theodore Dreiser. Howells was a proponent and practitioner of realism in literature, a concept that meshed pretty well with novels written by Norris and Dreiser. Since I enjoyed "The Octopus," "McTeague," "Sister Carrie," and "An American Tragedy" so much, I just knew I needed to visit a few of Howells's novels at some point. That time is now. I read two of them, this one and "A Foregone Conclusion". I'm not overly impressed with either one of them. I know, I know...I probably need to read "The Rise of Silas Lapham" to get the full William Dean Howells effect. I just don't want to right now. I can say, after reading these two books, that I understand why Howells is such an obscure figure in American literature. He might practice the sort of realism that fueled many of the novels from Norris and Dreiser, but his failure to focus on the truly sordid details of American life cost him a lasting reputation with a popular audience.

"A Modern Instance," written in 1882, studies in minute detail the relationship between Bartley Hubbard and Marcia Gaylord. The story kicks off in Equity, Maine when Hubbard sweeps into town to run the local newspaper. He's quite the dandy, college educated and sharp as a tack, but he lacks morals. Marcia Gaylord is the daughter of the town lawyer, a very beautiful girl who could probably marry anyone she wanted. Of course, she picks the dashing Bartley. The two hit if off well, and Marcia's father likes the young man enough to help him pursue a legal career. Then tragedy strikes in the form of an incident involving Bartley, a young woman, and a young man who works at the newspaper. No one dies, fortunately, but the event sours Hubbard's reputation with Marcia's father. Bartley soon heads for Boston in search of a new start, and Marcia leaves her family to follow him. The two marry, rent a place in Beantown, and Bartley takes a "temporary" position as a big city journalist until he can get his law career on track. It soon becomes clear that Bartley Hubbard will most likely never advance beyond a career in journalism. Nor will his morals improve.

As for Marcia, her devotion to Bartley blinds her to the man's flaws. Even an incident involving Hubbard, alcohol, and the police fail to dislodge her loyalty to her man. His failure to practice law causes tempers to flare, but these emotions soon fade away into semi-blissful domesticity. Anytime Marcia gets angry with her husband, she quickly caves in and lets Bartley do what he wants. This behavior infuriates Ben Halleck, a morose, wealthy young man who went to college with Bartley. He knows his old friend's failings, knows he will never change, but he soon discovers that he loves Marcia. It is this love, and the guilt he has for loving another man's wife, that continually torments his soul. When Bartley shows up on his doorstep asking for a sizable loan, Halleck gives him the money with the knowledge that Hubbard will likely never repay him. Sure enough, Bartley bails on his wife, his kid, and his debts and heads to points west. The resulting furor arising from such an immoral action finds Marcia, her crusty old father, and several members of the Halleck family heading out to Indiana in order to confront the scoundrel in divorce court and put the whole affair in order.

I liked "A Modern Instance" when compared to "A Foregone Conclusion". The story flows better, for one thing, and a few of the characters arouse more interesting. Especially Bartley Hubbard. I hated the guy and his malicious activities, but he carries himself with such aplomb that you can't help but admire his style. I had a tough time liking Marcia. She's whiny, full of self-pity, and a dunderhead of the first order. In addition to Bartley Hubbard, I also enjoyed the subject matter, i.e. divorce and its repercussions in the late 19th century. Howells paints the whole affair as if it's the worst thing that could happen to a person, and that's probably true in America circa 1882. Especially with a young kid in the mix. I'm sure his audience for this book reacted in a highly emotional way after reading the story. Today...eh, not such a big deal. It happens all the time. The story might have induced apoplexy in the audience had Howells made Marcia's actions the main motivation for divorce proceedings. THAT would have really shocked the readers. I don't think Howells was prepared to go that far.

I didn't like a few things about the story. Since a few of the characters aren't interesting personalities (Marcia and Ben Halleck, mainly), it's hard to care about what happens to them. I also didn't enjoy the long, discursive segments of the story in which Howells waxes philosophic about marriage and morals in the context of civilization, among other things. He's right about marriage, of course, as anyone who looks around at the mess we live in today can clearly see, but these digressions hamper the narrative flow in places. Still, "A Modern Instance" contains more good than bad. Howells possesses a vivid writing style that brings the 19th century environment to life, he has a firm grasp on human psychology, and Bartley Hubbard is a fun fellow to read about. I'm having a tough time deciding on how many stars to give "A Modern Instance". I want to label it with three, but I think I'll go with four since I liked the story better than "A Foregone Conclusion". I'm still not overly impressed with William Dean Howells. Read Frank Norris and Theodore Dreiser instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable
One can tell this is a book first published in 1882, but nevertheless I found it totally readable, and was quite caught up in the story.If you have to like the characters in a novel, then this book might not be for you.I usually prefer to have some admirable characters in a book, but neither the heroine nor the male lead character will excite your admiration.Laid in Equity, a fictional town in Maine, and in Boston in the 1870s, the account of how Marcia Gaylord throws herself at the deficient Bartley Hubbard and they enter into a marriage one suspects will not work, the account is of abiding interest, with many aspects which if viewed from the standpoint of the novel's date of composition are fraught with importance and even today provoke thoughtful consideration.I personally enjoyed this book more than The Rise of Silas Lapham, and you might too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hick Duo Go Splitsville in Beantown
Since reading this novel first some six years ago, I�ve always felt that it has one of the most unattractive titles of any book I know.On re-reading it, I still think so. This should not put readers off, however, because behind that bland, unimaginative moniker, which reflected some long-since faded thoughts by the author, you will find a fascinating study of divorce in the 19th century, in a society that condemned it.Fifty years ago I can remember my own mother whispering the word �divorced� when speaking about a couple no longer together�it was too shameful to say out loud.Yeah, well, times have changed.But what about the mid-1870s ?Howells carefully draws the picture in his usual, nuanced style.

A handsome, but shallow youth, Bartley Hubbard, flirts with Marcia Gaylord in a small Maine town.We can see their union is ill-fated right from the start, her family opposes it (he seems to have no relatives), but Marcia burns for Bartley.They marry surreptitiously and head for Boston where Bartley gets a foothold in the newspaper world.He mouths idealistic pap like �I hope I shall never do anything unworthy of your idea.� but basically he has no moral framework in his character; he�s selfish, facile, opportunistic, and self-indulgent.Marcia, though beautiful, is ignorant, self-centered, and very jealous.Howells emphasizes their lack of religion as a key to their deficiencies.As the marriage falls apart, we turn more and more to other characters, all in the higher levels of Boston society, who have the moral fiber that the Hubbards do not.Ben Halleck, Bartley's ex-friend, wrestles with his conscience over his secret love for Marcia as he sees her suffer over Bartley�s abandonment of her.In very 19th century style, he worships her "as a woman whose constancy to her mistake" makes her sacred.He suppresses all his desires, even disappearing to Uruguay for two years, but merely thinking of another man�s wife, albeit a desperately unhappy one, is utterly beyond the pale.He castigates himself unmercifully and winds up a penitent minister.But A MODERN INSTANCE is not a simple melodrama---it is a complex mix of personalities.There are no simple answers---isn�t it easy to be upright when you are financially secure ?---and the end is indefinite.Though Hubbard is used as an example of moral decay, a man without firm principles and moral rectitude, he is still the most vivid, most realistic character.He is a likeable scamp, no matter how he is villified by the Boston society people.

The values that people live by in Boston circa 1875 are far from those we know today.They agonize about things that would not give us much pause.They emote on �civilization� because they, like Howells, could not imagine the horrors of the 20th century.Thus, in a sense, Howells� novel is passé.Yet, his conversations, his picture of relationships, his description of the times, and even of nature are excellent.For example the vivid logging camp scenes (pp.79-97)are pure genius.You feel that you know that time and place by the end.Even if there are certain melodramatic twists and turns in the novel, and even if the last 90 pages drag a little, I would certainly recommend that you read A MODERN INSTANCE if you have any interest at all in American literature.It is a startlingly powerful book whose characters will stay with you. ... Read more


3. Biography - Howells, William Dean (1837-1920): An article from: Contemporary Authors
by --Sketch by Sharon Malinowski
Digital: 61 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SCN1Y
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document, covering the life and work of William Dean Howells, is an entry from Contemporary Authors, a reference volume published by Thompson Gale. The length of the entry is 18203 words. The page length listed above is based on a typical 300-word page. Although the exact content of each entry from this volume can vary, typical entries include the following information:

  • Place and date of birth and death (if deceased)
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Professional associations and honors
  • Employment
  • Writings, including books and periodicals
  • A description of the author's work
  • References to further readings about the author
... Read more

4. Their wedding journey, by William Dean Howells; with illustrations by Clifford Carleton
by William Dean (1837-1920). Clifford Carleton (ill.) Howells
Hardcover: Pages (1895-01-01)

Asin: B001R6DO8Q
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5. Selected Mark Twain-Howells letters, 1872-1910. Edited by Frederick Anderson, William M. Gibson [and] Henry Nash Smith
by Mark (1835-1910) - Related names: Howells, William Dean (1837-1920); Ande Twain
 Hardcover: Pages (1967)

Asin: B0013HPRDY
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6. SEBASTOPOL. Translated from the French by Frank D. Millet. With an Introduction by W. D. Howells.
by Count Leo [1828 - 1910]. [Howells, William Dean. 1837 - 1920]. Tolsto? [Tolstoy]
 Hardcover: Pages (1887)

Asin: B002VSEOO2
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7. Hither and thither in Germany [by] W. D. Howells
by Howells. William Dean. 1837-1920.
 Paperback: Pages (1920)

Asin: B002WTYUVC
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8. Letters home. by W. D. Howells.
by Howells. William Dean. 1837-1920.
 Paperback: Pages (1903-01-01)

Asin: B002WUQ352
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9. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham Lincoln And Hannibal Hamlin
by Lincoln Abraham 1809-1865, Hamlin Hannibal 1809-1891
 Paperback: 422 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172146721
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10. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham Lincoln And Hannibal Hamlin
by Lincoln Abraham 1809-1865, Hamlin Hannibal 1809-1891
 Paperback: 426 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$35.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172145857
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11. Evening Dress: Farce
 Paperback: 76 Pages (2010-09-29)
list price: US$17.75 -- used & new: US$17.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1173218971
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12. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham Lincoln And Hannibal Hamlin
by Lincoln Abraham 1809-1865, Hamlin Hannibal 1809-1891
 Paperback: 412 Pages (2010-10-16)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172511691
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13. Lives And Speeches Of Abraham Lincoln And Hannibal Hamlin
by Lincoln Abraham 1809-1865, Hamlin Hannibal 1809-1891
 Paperback: 424 Pages (2010-10-06)
list price: US$35.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172184143
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14. Letters Home
 Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$30.75 -- used & new: US$25.32
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Asin: 1172143226
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15. Through The Eye Of The Needle; A Romance
 Paperback: 254 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$26.75 -- used & new: US$24.02
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Asin: 1172214964
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16. OVERHEARD In ARCADY.
by Robert [Droch.1858 - 1941].[Bangs, John Kendrick.1862 - 1922].[Davis, Richard Harding. 1864 - 1916].[Herford, Oliver.1863 - 1935].[Howells, William Dean.1837 - 1920].[Pitman, Elizabeth Barton]. Bridges
 Hardcover: Pages (1894)

Asin: B000NUIWG6
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17. A Parting and a Meeting : Story
by William Dean, 1837-1920 Howells
 Hardcover: Pages (1896)

Asin: B000KQ6MOM
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18. Criticism And Fiction
 Paperback: 204 Pages (2010-09-29)
list price: US$24.75 -- used & new: US$24.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1173210717
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19. Their silver wedding journey Volume 1
 Paperback: 418 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172213534
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20. Suburban Sketches
 Paperback: 284 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$28.75 -- used & new: US$24.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1172211205
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