Freethought Almanac

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March 1: William Dean Howells (1837)

It was on this date, March 1, 1837, that American writer, historian, editor and founder of the “naturalist” movement in fiction, William Dean Howells, was born. Howells became an editor at age 21, began writing poetry shortly thereafter, but achieved his first success with an 1860 Life of Lincoln. Howells cast off his Swedenborgian creed in his youth and became a social liberal and a sentimental Theist. His novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), is considered a classic, but Howells’s Literary Friends and Acquaintances (1901) discusses the Rationalist views of some leading American writers. …

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Originally published March 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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