Date Published: 1874 to 1916
William Dean Howells nicknamed “The Dean of American Letters”, was a prolific realist novelist, literary critic (Atlantic Monthly), poet, and playwright. He was a close colleague and friend with many major American writers of the nineteenth century, including Henry Adams, William James, Henry James, and Mark Twain.
The collection contains 17 items dating from 1874 to 1916 specifically, of nine letters (two in two books and one in a framed a photoprint) and five cards with signatures.
9 Letters: 8 Autographed Letters Signed (ALS) & 1 Typed Letter Signed (TLS)
• ALS to Mrs. Maria Dewing, 4 March 1892 on The Cosmopolitan Magazine letterhead, informing her that he will keep her poem, “Eternal Beauty”, for the magazine.
• ALS addressed Dear Sir, 14 July 1902, “Mr. Langden Mitchell has kindly suggested my writing you for two seats at your theater. If you have a Wednesday matinee I should like three for that[?]; otherwise the Saturday matinee of the 22nd. Yours truly / W. D. Howells”.
• ALS to Miss de Lima, 1 March 1912, thanking her for kind birthday wishes. • ALS to Mrs. H.E. Raymond, 4 May 1915, with envelope, asking her to send the book in a stamped wrapper with a string for tying it up.
• ALS to Mr. Dole, 2 August 1895, re the Independent article which Howells has not seen and the use of dialect in Tolstoy, with a signed photoprint of Howells by G.C. Cox, letter and photoprint within a frame.
• ALS to Mr. Brooks, 22 April 1896, thanking him for the books, pointing out that he’s moving from his apartment to a house, and noting that his daughter joins him in remembering their visit together. ALS affixed to the front pastedown of the book, Ragged Lady (1897; red cloth, title leaf lacking).
• ALS to Mr. Milne, 7 April 1911, with envelope, re autographing books. Letter and envelope affixed to book plus a signed copy of A Chance Acquaintance (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1874; brown pictorial cloth, damage to the spine, loose upper board but holding, bookplate of Roger H. West).
• TLS from Thomas Wells of Harper & Brothers, 22 September 1916, to Howells, re publication of a compilation of extracts of his works by an English lady friend. Howells writes two lines along the left side of the letter signing it at the conclusion (ask Wells to inquire at Houghton Mifflin).
• ALS to Miss Finch, 9 September 1910, thanking her for her “very, very kind letter. But there are things to which there is no replay except thanks.”
• Signed card at Cambridge, 24 March 1874.
• Howell’s signature with note in his hand, “Always send a card, and an addressed and stamped envelope.”
• Howell’s signature, bottom part of ALS, “Yours sincerely | W.D. Howells, | Intervale, | N.H.”
• Bottom part of ALS, “Your sincerely | W.D. Howells”.
• Signature pasted on to a red card.
Collection is on consignment with LDRB.