which established his fame as a writer.
A modern instance
and The rise of Silas Lapham
are perhaps the finest stories of this group; and the latter novel may prove to be Mr. Howells
's chief “visiting-card to posterity.”
We cannot here follow him to New York and to a new phase of novel writing, begun with A Hazard of New Fortunes
, nor can we discuss the now antiquated debate upon realism which was waged in the eighteen-eighties over the books of Howells
We must content ourselves with saying that a knowledge of Mr. Howells
's work is essential to the student of the American
provincial novel, as it is also to the student of our more generalized types of story-writing, and that he has never in his long career written an insincere, a slovenly, or an infelicitous page.
My literary friends and acquaintance
gives the most charming picture ever drawn of the elder Cambridge
, and Boston
men who ruled over our literature when young Howells
came out of the West
, and My Mark Twain
is his memorable portrait of another type of sovereign, perhaps the dynasty that will rule the future.
Although Henry James
, like Mr. Howells
, wrote at one time acute studies of New England