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A Hazard of New Fortunes (Penguin Classics)

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A Hazard of New Fortunes (Penguin Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780140439236
ISBN10: 0140439234
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Rise of Silas Lapham was the first important novel to center on the American businessman and the first to treat its theme with a realism that foreshadowed the work of modern writers. In his story of one of the millionaire industrialists who flourished in the post-Civil War years, William Dean Howells probes the moral and social conflicts that confront a self-made man trying to crash Bostons old-guard aristocracy. Silas Lapham is a man of conscience who fully realizes his folly; but he is also an ambitious man who lets his aspirations lead him to risk both his fortune and his familys happiness for status in a society that will never truly accept him.

 

“His perceptions were sure, his integrity was absolute,” wrote Henry Seidel Canby of William Dean Howells, whom he credited as being “responsible for giving the American novel form.”

Synopsis:

Set against the backdrop of late-19th-century New York, this is the story of a self-made millionaire and a fervent social revolutionary. The novel is both a portrait of the American experience in an age of emerging social struggle and a study of human relationships.

Synopsis:

Set against a vividly depicted background of fin de siécle New York, this novel centers on the conflict between a self-made millionaire and a fervent social revolutionary-a conflict in which a man of goodwill futilely attempts to act as a mediator, only to be forced himself into a crisis of conscience. Here we see William Dean Howells's grasp of the realities of the American experience in an age of emerging social struggle. His absolute determination to fairly represent every point of view is evident throughout this multifaceted work. Both a memorable portrait of an era and a profoundly moving study of human relationships, A Hazard of New Fortunes fully justifies Alfred Kazin's ranking of Howells as "the first great domestic novelist of American life."

About the Author

William Dean Howells was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on March 1, 1837. Between 1856 and 1861 he worked as a reporter for the Ohio State Journal. About this time his poems began to appear in The Atlantic Monthly. His campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, compiled in 1860, prompted the administration to offer him the consulship at Venice, a post he held from 1861 to 1865. He married Elinor Gertrude Meade, a young woman from Vermont, in Paris in 1862. On his return to the United States in 1865, Howells worked in New York before going to Boston as assistant to James T. Fields of The Atlantic Monthly. In 1871 he became editor-in-chief of the magazine. In this position he worked with many young writers, among them Mark Twain and Henry James, both of whom became his close friends. His first novel, Their Wedding Journey, appeared in 1872. The Rise of Silas Lapham was serialized in Century Magazine before it was published in book form in 1885. A Hazard of New Fortunes was published five years later. His position as critic, writer, and enthusiastic exponent of the new realism earned William Dean Howells the title of Dean of American Letters. He died in 1920.

 

Louis Auchincloss was a highly acclaimed novelist, literary critic, and historian. His more than fifty books include The Rector of Justin, The House of Five Talents, and The Atonement. He is also the author of several nonfiction works, including The Man Behind the Book: Literary Profiles, and a member and President Emeritus of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

lukas, October 13, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
William Dean Howells is a semi-obscure figure now, read mostly by academics and lit nerds with too much time on their hand, but he was an important figure in the development of realism in the American novel, as well as an editor of "The Atlantic Monthly," where he published work by Mark Twain and Henry James, both of whom became friends. It's a little unfortunate that he's linked with those two titans who, between them, basically set the course for the American novel in the 20th century. While he shares Twain's use of local dialects (Southern here) and James's interest in class, he's a more pedestrian writer whose books ("The Rise of Silas Lapham" is his other major book) now seem a little quaint. "Hazard," however deals with a lot of major American themes like wealth, economics, labor vs. capital, social class, and politics. It's not the swiftest read, but will reward the patient reader.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780140439236
Introduction:
Lopate, Phillip
Author:
Lopate, Phillip
Author:
Howells, William Dean
Author:
Auchincloss, Louis
Author:
DeMott, Benjamin
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Moving, Household
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Middle aged persons
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
2562
Publication Date:
20011231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.19 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Hazard of New Fortunes (Penguin Classics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140439236 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Set against the backdrop of late-19th-century New York, this is the story of a self-made millionaire and a fervent social revolutionary. The novel is both a portrait of the American experience in an age of emerging social struggle and a study of human relationships.
"Synopsis" by ,
Set against a vividly depicted background of fin de siécle New York, this novel centers on the conflict between a self-made millionaire and a fervent social revolutionary-a conflict in which a man of goodwill futilely attempts to act as a mediator, only to be forced himself into a crisis of conscience. Here we see William Dean Howells's grasp of the realities of the American experience in an age of emerging social struggle. His absolute determination to fairly represent every point of view is evident throughout this multifaceted work. Both a memorable portrait of an era and a profoundly moving study of human relationships, A Hazard of New Fortunes fully justifies Alfred Kazin's ranking of Howells as "the first great domestic novelist of American life."
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