Sarah Orne Jewett House

William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was an author and literary critic who became the assistant editor and then, after James T. Fields retired, editor at The Atlantic Monthly. During his tenure there, he nurtured Jewett’s talent, encouraging her to collect a series of sketches into her first novel, Deephaven.

Howells and wife Elinor belonged to the inner circle who gathered at the Boston home of Annie Fields. Howells was a friend to Jewett, as well as her editor. He was a poet and writer and a close friend of Henry James. Howells promoted Realism in writers’ work and came to be known as “the Dean of American Letters.”