Author: William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells (1837–1920) was an American realist, literary critic, and playwright. Born in Martinsville, Ohio to a newspaper editor and printer, his parents encouraged his literary interests. Howells spent several years in Venice serving as the U.S. Consul under President Lincoln. After returning to the United States, he wrote poems, short stories, and articles for several magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine. From 1871–81, Howells served as editor of The Atlantic Monthly. As a critic, he was a proponent of such authors as Sarah Orne Jewett, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Crane, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. A prolific writer, Howells was recognized as the “Dean of American Letters.”

Christmas Every Day

William Dean Howells
Who wouldn’t want it to be Christmas every day of the year? In this comic 1892 story by editor and critic William Dean Howells (1837–1920), a little girl gets her wish—with disastrous results.