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The Shadow of a Dream

By William Dean Howells, 1890


  1. Faulkner
  2. Hermia
  3. Nevil

A Note on the Text

As copy-text we use the Harper and Brothers 1890 edition. We have not modernized spelling or punctuation, but we have not attempted to render exactly the same paragraph and other text formatting. We use the double hyphen in place of the em dash.

The scholarly edition of this text is the Howells Edition with introduction and notes by Martha Banta, and text established by Banta, Ronald Gottesman and David J. Nordloh, copyright 1969 by Indiana University Press. That edition is approved for teaching purposes by the Modern Language Association's Center for Editions of American Authors.

We found few differences between these editions, but the Howells Edition text follows the magazine text, published in Harper's Monthly, March, April, and May, 1890.

Significantly, Howells toned down a physical description of Hermia from the magazine text to the book text. He had said in the serial text: "an undulating walk, and he doesn't tilt his head a little on one side as if it were a heavy rose; and he hasn't got a complexion of russet crimsoned; and his hair isn't thick and dull black and fuffy over the forehead; and he isn't round and strong and firm." In the book this was replaced by a less overtly sexual description, which tends to alter the reader's impression of motives in the book. We have silently followed a number of other emendations suggested by the Howells Edition.

The Marches were introducted as characters in Howells's first novel, Their Wedding Journey, 1871.

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