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The Rise of Silas Lapham (Barnes & Noble Classics) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.99" Width: 5.28" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   0.68 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN  1593082878  
EAN  9781593082871  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
The Rise of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howells, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. After the Civil War, rapid industrialization created a new crop of American multimillionaires. Although as wealthy as the aristocrats of Boston and New York, the nouveaux riches were rejected by those arrogant guardians of traditional society because of their uneducated tastes and uncouth styles. This class conflict is at the core of The Rise of Silas Lapham, one of the first American novels of manners, one of the first to look at the American businessman and self-made millionaire, and one of the first to employ realism-a style that would come todominate twentieth-century American fiction.
A devoted husband and father, fairly decent employer, and mostly honest businessman, Silas Lapham has used his father's small paint company to amass a large fortune. But he yearns to enter society and for his two daughters, Penelope and Irene, to marry well. However, blue-blooded Tom Corey's love for one of the Lapham daughters is thwarted by his mother, who believes Penelope is an overly independent social climber. Meanwhile, Silas's efforts to be accepted by the Boston Brahmins lead him into dangerous financial waters that threaten to drown his business and swallow his family. Morris Dickstein is Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a senior fellow of the Center for the Humanities, which he founded. His latest book is a collection of essays, A Mirror in the Roadway: Literature and the Real World, He is completing a cultural history of the United States in the 1930s.

Buy The Rise of Silas Lapham (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Morris Dickstein William Dean Howells from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781593082871 & 1593082878

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More About Morris Dickstein William Dean Howells

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William Dean Howells(1837-1920) was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio. His father was a printer and newspaperman, and the family moved from town to town. Howells went to school where he could. As a boy he began learning the printer s skill. By the time he was in his teens he was setting type for his own verse. Between 1856 and 1861 he worked as a reporter for the Ohio State Journal. About this time his poems began to appear in the Atlantic Monthly. His campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, compiled in 1860, prompted the administration to offer him the consulship at Venice, a post he held from 1861 to 1865. He married Elinor Gertrude Meade, a young woman from Vermont, in 1862 Paris. On his return to the United States in 1865, Howells worked in New York before going to Boston as assistant to James T. Fields of The Atlantic Monthly. In 1871 he became editor-in-chief of the magazine. In this position he worked with many young writers, among them Mark Twain and Henry James, both of whom became his close friends. His first novel, Their Wedding Journey, appeared in 1872. The Rise of Silas Lapham was serialized in Century Magazine before it was published in book form in 1885. A Hazard of New Fortunes was published five years later. His position as critic, writer, and enthusiastic exponent of the new realism earned William Dean Howells the respected title of Dean of American Letters."

William Dean Howells was born in 1837 and died in 1920.

William Dean Howells has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Penguin American Library


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1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics   [47292  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good Overall Experience  Mar 8, 2007
The merchandise arrived timely and the overall experience was a good one.
 
One of his best  Mar 24, 2005
You might be able to take a man of humble beginnings and make him a rich man, but can he ever cross the line into Society? Silas Lapham becomes rich from paint that he sells, but fails totally in his attempt to become an accepted member of the upper class. The book also concerns a misunderstood love interest by one of Lapham's daughters: the young man is actually in love with his other daughter. Lapham's business fails at the end, but he doesn't sacrifice his integrity. Which is why it is only the "rise" of Silas Lapham and not the "rise and fall." This is among Howells's best novels.
 
Should be called "The Rise and Fall of Silas Lapham"  Mar 3, 2005
This book blew my mind! I found it absolutely engaging and the character of Silas Lapham was endearing to the point of surprise. This book says a lot about a class conscious America and even more about how "mom and pop" capitalism gets pushed aside to make way for impersonal mega corporations.
Silas Lapham is a good-hearted, yet rugged individualist who pulled himself up by the bootstraps to make a giant fortune. Once he succeeds however, there is a whole group of people at the top of the ladder ready to push him onto his face, along with his whole "wretched family." No matter what he does to fit in with the "old money" he just can't seem to fit in and the more he works to fit the millionaire mold, the more he compromises his own values.
What's best though is that we see him and his family through good times as well as through the downward spiral after his business crashes, and while it is sad, we see that they return willingly to what once was without coming out any worse.
This book made me smile because the characters, especially Silas Lapham, are realistically flawed and human. I recommend this highly.
 
A perfectly symmetrical novel -- literally.  Dec 22, 2004
To the page, this book is symmetrical in its structure. It opens with a public confession (to a reporter) and ends with a private one (to a priest). In the exact center comes Lapham's moment of realization when he is drunk at a party. There is more to the structure, but that should be enough to get you going.

A reviewer below calls Lapham a 'mogul with a conscience' which is accurate. The true core of this book is the way Howells carefully built it, though. Considering it comes from an age before modernism, it certainly feels quite modern. Give it a shot.
 
Mogul with a conscience  Mar 30, 2004
William Dean Howells's "The Rise of Silas Lapham" is one of the earliest American novels about a businessman, and that qualification alone makes it a literary curiosity, but what is most remarkable about it is what its title character is not, rather than what he is. Silas Lapham is not a ruthless, villainously greedy tycoon who bullies his employees and relishes destroying the careers of his competitors and enemies, but a conscientious, likeable man to whom misfortune happens because of his gullibility and sense of guilt rather than hubris.

Lapham is a human emblem of the new American industrial economy of the 1870s. A self-made millionaire in the paint business, he is now one of the richest men in Boston and is radiantly proud of the fact that he has earned every dollar. Having grown up poor and undereducated in Vermont, he still speaks in a rustic vernacular and has yet to understand the rationale behind the rules of high society, let alone assimilate them. A simple, practical man with a sense of duty, he even put aside his business to serve in the Civil War, in which he was seriously wounded and achieved the rank of colonel. He can be boastful and garrulous, but he is not arrogant or overbearing.

Lapham is dearly devoted to his wife Persis, who in turn has supported him through thick and thin, and his two daughters. Penelope, the older girl, is relatively plain but witty and sardonic and, at least in the first half of the novel, never seems to take anything seriously; her sister Irene is the more beautiful but vapid and superficial. Irene falls for Tom Corey, the young man who comes to work for her father as a foreign sales representative, but Tom and Penelope have a mutual attraction that, Penelope fears, could break Irene's heart. This romantic subplot allows Howells to contrast Tom's family, part of the old Boston aristocracy, with the even wealthier but socially crude Laphams with whose daughter Tom's mother has snobbish doubts about his possible union.

The novel has almost the air of Greek tragedy in that Lapham is a man of stature who has fatal flaws that threaten to destroy him. He is a teetotaller, and when he does take the liberty of trying some wine at a dinner party, he embarrasses himself and his family by talking too much. He abstains from gambling, but, instigated by his former business partner and current gadfly Milton Rogers, he gets into financial trouble when he stakes money on bad property and bad stocks. And, to compensate for a traumatic event in his past, he is charitable almost to a fault to a pretty girl whom he employs as a typist in his office.

The style of "The Rise of Silas Lapham" is a dramatic realism similar to that found in the novels of Howells's contemporaries Frank Norris and Theodore Dreiser; the structure is straightforward, and the dialogue cuts to the core in laying bare the characters' sentiments and unfolding the plot. It may fall short of being a "great" novel, but for its candid portrayal of a specimen of the nouveau riche, it can be considered a minor monument of nineteenth century American literature.

 

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