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Domestic Biographies

Stowe, Howells, James, and Wharton at Home

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Elif S. Armbruster

Domestic Biographies: Stowe, Howells, James, and Wharton at Home presents comparative domestic biographies of four American Realist writers: Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Dean Howells, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Drawing upon extensive primary sources to reconstruct the authors’ private lives, Domestic Biographies illuminates how they lived when no one was looking. In particular this book examines how the authors worked and wrote at home and how their home life in turn made its way into their novels and non-fiction. Domestic Biographies offers an innovative and exciting architectural and domestic lens through which to study the lives and literature of America’s best-known Realists.

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CONTENTS

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List of Illustrations .................................................................................. ix Acknowledgments.....................................................................................xi List of Abbreviations ..............................................................................xiii Introduction: From Romance to Realism: New Houses and New Literature..1 PART ONE: Writing to Live One: Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Cost of Domesticity...................15 Two: William Dean Howells: Realism in Transit .................................48 PART TWO: Living to Write Three: Henry James: Dwelling in the “House of Fiction” ....................81 Four: Edith Wharton: “A Beautiful Construction” .............................109 Epilogue: Where the Houses Stand Today..........................................140 Notes ......................................................................................................147 Selected Bibliography ...........................................................................177 Index ......................................................................................................189

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