Indian Summer: Novel
William Dean Howells (Author)
DescriptionIndian Summer is an 1886 novel by William Dean Howells. Though it was published after The Rise of Silas Lapham, it was written before The Rise of Silas Lapham. The setting for this novel was inspired by a trip Howells had recently taken with his family to Europe.Howells was a realist writer who wanted "his characters to be honest, ordinary people, as he might find in his strata of society, flawed and well-meaning, good-hearted and self-effacing, bound by the conventions and the restrictions of their day but quietly dreaming of a little local heroism in their souls." All of this is encompassed in the character Theodore Colville.Plot summaryTheodore Colville is a respected newspaperman in Des Vaches, Indiana. He is the editor of the Democratic-Republican, which he bought from his brother. But after a bad political move his fans criticize him and his pride cannot withstand that. A new opposing newspaper is made and Colville decides to just give up the newspaper business so he sells his newspaper to the new paper. They merge to become the Post Democratic-Republican. Colville decides that he needs to take a long vacation so he travels to Florence.Colville hasn't been in Florence in almost 20 years. At that time he was a young architect "with an inclination toward the literary side of his profession." He travelled all over Italy and in Venice he met a young American girl whom he followed to Florence. In Florence Jenny Wheelwright broke Theodore Colville's heart. He was distraught so when his brother wrote to him to come to Des Vaches, Colville happily accepted the offer for a change in scenery. In Des Vaches he got drawn into the newspaper business, which he happily stayed in for 15 years. In Florence he runs into a person he wasn't eager to ever see again: Mrs. Bowen. Mrs. Bowen, whom he once knew as Lina Ridgely, was best friends with Jenny, the girl who broke Colville's heart 20 years prior. She is a widow and has a young daughter Effie Bowen. They have a surprisingly pleasant chat and she invites him to a gathering at her home, Palazzo Pinti, that evening. He accepts the invitation.Colville hasn't done much socializing but at the gathering he falls right into it nicely. When he comes in he notices a beautiful, young, blonde girl that's about twenty and asks Mrs. Bowen to introduce him to her. Her name is Imogene Graham and she is staying with Mrs. Bowen that winter.At last Mrs. Bowen takes Colville to meet Miss Graham. She is with a young clergyman, Mr. Morton, whom Mrs. Bowen drags away. Miss Graham and Colville have a pleasant chat. After all the guest leave Colville stays behind to sit with Mrs. Bowen, Miss Graham, and young Effie by the fire. Effie, Mrs. Bowen's young daughter, is enchanted with Colville. Before Colville bids the women good night, Mrs. Bowen tells him he is welcome to drop by anytime...William Dean Howells ( March 1, 1837 - May 11, 1920) was an American realist novelist, literary critic, and playwright, nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters." He was particularly known for his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, as well as for his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novels The Rise of Silas Lapham and A Traveler from Altruria.Early life and familyWilliam Dean Howells was born on March 1, 1837, in Martinsville, Ohio (now known as Martins Ferry, Ohio), to William Cooper Howells and Mary Dean Howells, the second of eight children. His father was a newspaper editor and printer who moved frequently around Ohio.In 1840, the family settled in Hamilton, Ohio, where his father oversaw a Whig newspaper and followed Swedenborgianism.Their nine years there were the longest period that they stayed in one place. The family had to live frugally, although the young Howells was encouraged by his parents in his literary interests...
February 22, 2019
8.0 X 0.35 X 10.0 inches | 0.74 pounds
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About the Author
William Dean Howells was a realist novelist, literary critic, and playwright, nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters". He was particularly known for his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, as well as for his own prolific writings.