Read

A Modern Instance

One of the most influential authors of the late nineteenth century, and a former editor of the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Magazine, William Dean Howells wrote more than fifty novels, as well as plays, memoirs, and poetry collections. Opposed to the sentimentalism, contrived heroism, and theatrical endings in fiction, he developed a literary style based on unvarnished realism. This unique genre is brilliantly depicted in A Modern Instance, a novel that helped Howells' career skyrocket and is considered to be his masterpiece. A cornerstone of American realism, it contrasts old and new worlds to explore social and moral issues involving family life and the traditional roles of women. Centering a novel on the theme of divorce was a radical concept in 1882, so this portrait of a failing marriage occupies a transitional moment in literary history. It opens in Equity, Maine, with a seemingly perfect love story. Ambitious journalist Bartley Hubbard and insecure Marcia Gaylord elope and move to Boston with great plans for their future. But Bartley's self-indulgence and Marcia's jealousy prove to be a combustible mix of character flaws that threatens to destroy the marriage—even after the birth of their child. A journey through each character's thoughts, feelings, and reveries, A Modern Instance winds its way around our hearts, promoting dialogue about the nature of marriage and the changing face of American society.
more
Impression
Add to shelf
Already read
533 printed pages
0Readers
0Bookshelves
0Impressions
0Quotes
Related booksAll
William Dean Howells
The Rise of Silas Lapham

William Dean Howells

The Rise of Silas Lapham

William Dean Howells
Henry James, Jr

William Dean Howells

Henry James, Jr

William Dean Howells
Ital­ian Jour­neys

William Dean Howells

Italian Journeys

William Dean Howells
Venet­ian Life

William Dean Howells

Venetian Life

William Dean Howells
Last Days in a Dutch Ho­tel (from Lit­er­a­ture and Life)

William Dean Howells

Last Days in a Dutch Hotel (from Literature and Life)

William Dean Howells
Sub­ur­ban Sketches

William Dean Howells

Suburban Sketches

William Dean Howells
Com­plete Pro­ject Guten­berg William Dean How­ells Works

William Dean Howells

Complete Project Gutenberg William Dean Howells Works

Don’t give a book.
Give a library.