The Rise of Silas Lapham [William Dean Howells] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Rise of Silas Lapham is about the materialistic rise. The The Rise of Silas Lapham Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character by William Dean Howells The novel begins with the business man protagonist, Silas Lapham’s involvement with an interview . The novel recounts the moral dilemma of Colonel Silas Lapham, a newly wealthy , self-made businessman who has climbed over his former partner on the.

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The scene of the Corey dinner party where he can’t follow the conversation and drinks too much wine out of nervousness is particularly endearing in a sillas, humiliating sort of way.

The Rise of Silas Lapham

The audiobook is narrated by Grover Gardner. Howells had moved to Massachusetts in the s and became influential as the editor of howelsl Atlantic Monthlya role he held until University of Pennsylvania Press, Hubbard’s humor lightens the interview, and again this is a credit to Howells’ style of writing. Howells has a good time making fun of novels of the period.

I admire this trait in Silas. Our overly media dependent culture can be tempered by a good read in a time and place beyond our experience. It’s an amazing work, though most people don’t read it at this point.

The rise of an underselling paint company and a loss in the stock market force Lapham to demand repayment. Still today, many tie themselves in knots to be accepted into the right social group. When Tom reveals that it is the older daughter Penelope who he wants to marry, the family is thrown into moral crisis. There’s a lot for the fan of serious laphamm or descriptive, fiction to enjoy here: Okay, so call me old-fashioned if you want, but is it so bad that I enjoy reading novels I could recommend to my Grandmother who reminds me of Persis by the way ;?

Silas’s morality does not fail him. The characters all seem shallow and despite the hard times that come about in the book – rose never seems in touch with the hard times the rest of America was dealing with at the time. All too often obscured in the light of his two best friends, Mark Twain and Henry James, Howells was himself one of the greatest and most prolific novelists of the nineteenth century, as well as the principal theoretician of the prosaics of Realism.


The Rise of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howells

Howells’ comments on novels were amusing. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Tom works mainly out of choice but his family’s money is slowly withering away.

Silas and his wife Persis become socially ambitious, not entirely on their on behalf, but more to ensure the future of their riss, symbolized b Silas Lapham is a self-made millionaire in the paint business, rich but lacking the social status that comes with inherited wealth. And oapham, Silas and his family come through their financial ruin with their characters not only intact, but also strengthened and edified.

Want to Read saving…. The Lady of The Aroostook Dr. Beautiful writing throughout, but the last fifty pages are where Howells shines. Sep 17, Laura marked it as to-read Recommended to Laura by: He grapples for decades with personal issues unrelated to his paint business: Refresh and try again. The first chapter not only prepares for the plot to follow but, also, for the themes as well.

The action both puzzles and surprises. He shows Hubbard his first-rate paint, the Persis Brand. A self-made man struggles with capitalism and class. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Haven’t been assigned too many novels to read during grad school, and oh, how I’ve missed them.

The Rise of Silas Lapham: William Dean Howells: : Books

In sias “Editor’s Study” column at the Atlantic Monthly and, later, at Harper’s, he formulated and disseminated his theories of “realism” in literature. It was a nice change after reading reading other ‘unsavory’ novels which I will not mention here ‘Lolita’ cough cough, by Nabokov.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I recommend this book to those of you who like American Realism – “a style in art, music and literature that depicted contemporary social realities and the lives and everyday activities of ordinary people. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.


A man that had saved you! Lists with This Book. It shows him to be a non-artistic man whose only claim to social position is money. Published April 28th by Penguin first published If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login. Can a simple, plain-spoken man from the Vermont backwoods survive ssilas metropolitan snares? It is refreshing to read a novel where actions have consequences, and the protagonists bear gracefully even the negative consequences.

I also laughed at what I can only describe as an unintentional sexual tension between Silas and his aspiring son-in-law, Tom Corey; I can’t think of an American novel with which Eve Sedgwick would have had a better time.

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I’ve been told that his corpus is a very moral one, and there’s very little innuendo in any of his novels. The moralist cannot deny that, as a rule, well-bred though very wicked men are far more attractive and lovable than virtuous men; having crimes to atone for, they crave indulgence by anticipation, by being lenient to the shortcomings of those who judge them, and they are thought most kind.

Lapham’s money is immediately stressed as his sole claim to fame. This is important later when the Coreys are presented with not only money but also education and social elegance as reasons for their prominence. Lapham is a simple man, who undergoes the classic rages-to-riches story by way of the development of a phenomenal new paint that comes from materials found on his own land. Silas’ marriage is firm but circumstances once consigned to the Past threaten both domestic as well as fiscal stability.

Why had I never heard of Howells before?