WHEN Bartley Hubbard went to interview Silas Lapham for the "Solid Men of Boston" series, which he undertook to finish up in The Events, after he replaced their original projector on that newspaper, Lapham received him in his private office by previous appointment. He did not rise from the desk at which he was writing, but he gave Bartley his left hand for welcome, and he rolled his large head in the direction of a vacant chair. I'll be with you in just half a minute. Well, sir," he continued, wheeling round in his leather-cushioned swivel-chair, and facing Bartley, seated so near that their knees almost touched, "so you want my life, death, and Christian sufferings, do you, young man?
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Kermit Vanderbilt Introduction. William Dean Howells' richly humorous characterization of a self-made millionaire in Boston society provides a paradigm of American culture in the Gilded Age. After establishing a fortune in the paint business, Silas Lapham moves his family from their Vermont farm to the city of Boston, where they awkwardly attempt to break into Brahmin society. Get A Copy.
Paperback , Penguin Classics , pages. Published April 28th by Penguin first published More Details Original Title. Silas Lapham , Mrs. Boston, Massachusetts United States. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Rise of Silas Lapham , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about The Rise of Silas Lapham. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Rise of Silas Lapham. Sep 05, James rated it liked it Shelves: 4-written-preth-century , 1-fiction. Most of the works of literature that made up the canon during the late nineteenth century were classified as realistic literature. These realistic works resembled life as realistically as possible, ranging from youthful adventures in the South, to small town gossip of a few central families and to morals vs.
Throughout the time that he was earning all of his money and trying to settle in the elitist class of Boston society, Silas continually lost his morals and ethics. It was no chance at all. You crowded him out. A man that had saved you! No, you had got greedy, Silas. Society at this time was sometimes holistic, but it was also dirty.
When society was preserved, the baser aspects of human life were overcome with reason. Everything was about keeping up appearances, but there was never anything to back up the facade that was put on.
There was no straight black and white; shades of gray and murky ethics dominated during this period of realism known historically as The Gilded Age. About Me For those new to me or my reviews I write A LOT. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note : All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them.
Many thanks to their original creators. Feb 25, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: usa , 19th-century , novel. My curiosity led me into reading this book because of review which said that it was unusual because the plot was resolved by means of double entry book-keeping. As it turns out this is not the case. This is not the great accountancy novel, set in post American Civl War Boston that we have all been waiting for, in which dastardly book-keeping is resolved by some forensic analysis and a last-minute audit.
Other points of interest the Romantic role of woodshavings, and civil war veteran novels, the My curiosity led me into reading this book because of review which said that it was unusual because the plot was resolved by means of double entry book-keeping. Other points of interest the Romantic role of woodshavings, and civil war veteran novels, the imagery of house building in the modern novel View all 9 comments. Nov 14, Chrissie rated it liked it Shelves: classics , read , usa , audible-uk.
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.
The movement began in literature in the midth century. William D 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. William Dean Howells saw the value of the ordinary in everyday life. He sought a shift from the romanticism and idealism characterizing earlier literature.
This is not to say that love and romance is absent from this book. Nor is this to say that morality is not a central theme. There is a love affair and morality is in fact its central theme. Morality in business and morality in love.
What makes this a book of American Realism is how the story is drawn. Characters are not drawn in black or white but rather each character is splotched with black and white and gray.
Each character is good and bad, makes mistakes, sometimes learns from a mistake and sometimes doesn't. I like this and the lives described felt very real too me. There is humor. Tell me, how many times have you had to go to a party you did not want to go to?!
The hassle of the proper clothes to wear, the talk at the party and falling into the trap of too much alcohol. The time setting of this book is in the s, but not that much has changed since then! Still today, many tie themselves in knots to be accepted into the right social group. That is another theme of this book. The setup is a family that has become successful in the sale of a unique kind of paint and they have moved themselves from Vermont to Boston.
What happens then? The plot has not just one but several elements that all tie together - business deals, a triangle love affair, disputes within marriages and a fire. It is the plot, how the different parts fit together and how the sum of the parts are so realistically drawn that is the attraction of this book.
When I closed the book, I marveled at its realism, but I must also acknowledge that I never became all that engaged in any of the characters' private dilemmas. I observed from the outside. Each character may have been well drawn, but in my heart, I felt for none of them. The audiobook is narrated by Grover Gardner. What can I say? He always gives a very good performance. He reads clearly and with feeling but doesn't over-dramatize.
Feb 13, Werner rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Fans of serious literature. Shelves: classics , books-i-own. Recently, I was looking over some of my old notes on classics that I've read; that list isn't as long as I'd like, but it was also startling to note how few of the books on it I've actually reviewed on Goodreads. I try to make time to do a book review roughly every week, and if I'm not reviewing a book I've just finished, I take the opportunity to review one that I've already read; but those number in the hundreds, and the choice of which one to review is often rather random.
So I've decided, fo Recently, I was looking over some of my old notes on classics that I've read; that list isn't as long as I'd like, but it was also startling to note how few of the books on it I've actually reviewed on Goodreads.
So I've decided, for the rest of this year, to try to concentrate my "retrospective" reviews on the classics as much as I can. Maybe that will partly make up for flopping royally, as I surely will, on my classics reading challenge for ! Critics reckon Howells as one of the three leading masters of Realist fiction in the era between the Civil War and World War I, the other two being Twain and Henry James; but he tends to be the least well known and read of that triumvirate today.
The Rise of Silas Lapham
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THE RISE OF SILAS LAPHAM
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 ladder to success. After Lapham moves from Vermont to Boston, his family befriends the Coreys, a Brahmin family in financial difficulties. Meanwhile, business reversals cause him to entertain an offer to sell a worthless property to an English syndicate. The resulting money would enable him to continue to rise in society, but, after struggling with his conscience , Silas at last refuses to sell, and bankruptcy results. Having fallen socially, he has risen morally. The Rise of Silas Lapham. Info Print Cite.
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