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William Dean Howells letter to Mr. Underwood


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

American author, editor, and critic, William Dean Howells was born on March 1, 1837, in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, and died May 11, 1920, in New York, New York.

Howells was an editor for over forty years, beginning work as writer and/or editor for several Ohio journals and newspapers. In 1861 President Lincoln arranged Howells's appointment as the United States Consul to Venice, Italy, which he continued until 1865. During this tenure he authored of the column "Letter from Venice." In 1866 he began as an assistant editor for

Atlantic Monthly, becoming its chief editor in 1871 and continue as such until 1881. He joined Harper's Monthly (New York City) in 1886, where he was the author of the column "Editor's Study" (1886-1891) and later the column "Editor's Easy Chair" (1900-1920).

In addition to editing, Howells wrote poetry, novels, short fiction, biographies, plays, essays and criticism, travel narratives, as well as autobiographies and reminiscences. He was as a lecturer in Italian literature at Harvard University from 1869-71 and a founding sponsor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In addition to honorary degrees granted by Harvard University, Yale University, Oxford University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Adelbert College, Howells received the Gold Medal for fiction (now known as the Howells Medal) from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1915.

"William Dean Howells." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). (accessed April 2008).

One letter handwritten by William Dean Howells to Mr. Underwood, dated September 22, 1874, in which Howells declines to serve on a book committee.

Box 54, F0818: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Gift of Doris Grumbach, February 2008.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, April 2008. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2008 April 7
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

William Dean Howells letter to Mr. Underwood, 1874 September 22.
Box 54 Folder F0818
Physical Description

1 item (1 leaf)

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