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Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 221

IX.   The Eighties and Their Kin


1. Varied Types

  THE DECADE 1880–1890 produced more good novels than any other American decade. Howells was then at his height in A Modern Instance, The Rise of Silas Lapham, Indian Summer, A Hazard of New Fortunes; Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; Henry James in Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse. It was the decade which saw the beginnings and the most brilliant successes of Francis Marion Crawford, the story-teller par excellence among American novelists, and Frank R. Stockton, delightful inventor of joyous extravaganza. It was the decade of Wallace’s Ben-Hur, of Cable’s The Grandissimes, of E. W. Howe’s The Story of a Country Town, of Blanche Willis Howard’s Guenn, of Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona, of Henry Adams’s Democracy and John Hay’s The Bread-Winners, of Constance Fenimore Woolson’s East Angels, of Margaret Deland’s John Ward, Preacher, of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward. In spite of the popularity of the short story, the novel prospered. The publication of novels serially in magazines had not yet begun to decline. Criticism of the art attained a high dignity in



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