William Dean Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885) was the first important realistic novel to focus on an American businessman. The author intended his highly regarded novel to provide moral education to the readers. Early in the novel Howells presents an essential business-related moral dilemma that has repercussi... (Read more...)
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Thank you for the article. Howells was a good friend of Mark Twain. Twain praised him as an author here. Inspired by Twain, I decided to try Howells several years ago. It happened to be The Rise of Silas Lapham. I liked it.
The novel’s secondary but interrelated plot chronicles his family’s awkward attempts to gain acceptance into cultured society.
As I recall, some reviews I read before reading the book made this primary rather than Silas' character.
Having just finished Pride and Prejudice (Friday) and Alongside Night (Sunday), I requested this from my local library. What's coming is a first edition with commentaries, reviews, etc. I'll let you know...