A Modern Instance

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Kessinger Publishing, 2010 - Fiction - 406 pages
She stopped. Bartley looked at her a moment, and then caught her to him and fell a-laughing over her, till it seemed as if he never would end. "And you thought--you thought," he cried, trying to get his breath,--"you thought you were Eily, and I was Hardress Cregan! Oh, I see, I see!" He went on making a mock and a burlesque of her tragical hallucination till she laughed with him at last. When he put his hand up to turn out the gas, he began his joking afresh. The real thing for Hardress to do, he said, fumbling for the key, is to blow it out.

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About the author (2010)

William Dean Howells was born on March 1, 1837, in Martin's Ferry, Ohio. Howells was forced to drop out of high school to work as a typesetter for his father. He later taught himself, becoming adept at German and Spanish. He soon became a reporter, eventually becoming editor of The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's magazines, as well as a literary critic. During his lifetime, Howells rubbed elbows with the great American authors of his day, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1861, he received a consulship at Venice, returning to the U.S. several years later to become assistant editor for The Atlantic Monthly. While his accomplishments are centered in the world of journalism, he also wrote numerous volumes of poetry and novels, such as The Undiscovered Country and A Chance Acquaintance. This last book, like many of his novels, was originally published in serial installments in The Atlantic Monthly. Many of his writings explore the changing face of society in America, often contrasting it with life in Europe. His novel entitled, The rise of Silas Lapham illustrated what was referred to in the late 1800's as the rise of the Nouveau Riche. Howells was known for his comedic descriptions of the differences in class that existed at that time. Howells's other significant contribution to literature was his notice of and commentary on the merits of Henry James and Mark Twain. He received several honorary degrees from universities as well as a Gold Medal for fiction (later renamed after him as the Howells Medal) from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died on May 11, 1920 in New York City.

Volume XX has been edited by A. E. Wallace Maurer, Professor of English at Ohio State University; its text has been established by George R. Guffey, Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Alan Roper, the General Editor, and Vinton A. Dearing, the Textual Editor of the edition, are both Professors of English at UCLA.

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