THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM. Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1885. 12mo, pp. [1-4]  2-515 [516: blank], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, gray endpapers. First edition, first printing. This copy has "Mr. Howell's latest works" on verso of half title leaf, only the "e" of "sojourner," last line of page 176, is battered. This is probably an fairly early copy of the first printing. The author's best novel and one of the earliest cornerstone works of American realistic fiction. "Critically, personally and by example Howells was one of the foremost figures in American letters during the latter quarter of the nineteenth century ... With certain sporadic cases, the modern realistic movement dates from the publication in 1882 of A MODERN INSTANCE. This, in the opinion of many critics, is also his best work. A still larger number prefer SILAS LAPHAM, while he himself selected INDIAN SUMMER (1886). These three, with A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES (1890), which has been called the best novel of New York, and THE KENTONS (1902), complete the group of his most outstanding works." - Fullerton, Selective Bibliography of American Literature 1775-1900, pp. 151-2. "Silas Lapham, the typical self-made American of the era, and his wife and daughters, are speaking likenesses, done with sympathy; for the early years of Howells had enabled him, unlike James, to enter into bourgeois life with comprehension. Everywhere portraits done with a thousand careful touches -- New England types largely drawn against a minute background of manners. It cannot fail that these novels, even like those of Jane Austin, will be valued in years to come as historical documents. As a picture of the externals of the era they portray there is nothing to compare with them. The Boston of the seventies, gone now as completely as the Boston of the Revolution, lives in these pages." - Pattee, A History of American Literature Since 1870, p. 209. "THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM surpasses all other novels dealing with the American self-made man, because it is not a satire, but a well-rounded portrait." - Quinn, American Fiction, p. 263. Merle Johnson, High Spots of American Literature, p. 43. BAL 9619 (noted state 1). Wright (III) 2829. Cloth worn at spine ends and corner tips, light rubbing to cloth along outer joints, a sound, good copy. (#164578).
No statement of printing.