Venetian Life

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-6085-9
Publication Date
February 2001
Page Count
317 pages
Trim Size
5 1/4 x 8 1/4

Venetian Life

W. D. Howells

In 1869 W.D. Howells, in reward for having written a campaign biography of Abraham Lincoln, was given the job of consul in Venice.

For a young nineteenth-century American who had left school when he was nine to earn a living, the hardest part of his sinecure was that he had almost nothing to do. "I dreaded the easily formed habit of receiving a salary for no service performed," he wrote. "I reminded myself that, soon or late, I must go back to the old fashion of earning money, and that it had better be sooner than later."

Venetian Life flows from the enchantment, the magical improbability, of the years Howell spent in that magnificent city dining with the rich, mingling with the humble, and reporting it all with a uniquely American wit and curiosity.

About the Author

W. D. Howells (1837-1920) is one of America's most important men of letters. In addition to writing such classics as The Rise of Silas Lapham (Norton, 1982) and Italian Journeys (Marlboro Books/Northwestern, 1999), Howells served as editor of the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's and authored novels, dramas, autobiographical works, and books of travel.