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A Hazard of New Fortunes

William Dean Howells


Basil March jumps at the chance to leave his boring job to become the founding editor of a new magazine. But this also means that he must leave comfortable Boston for the confusion and chaos of 1890s New York. As March and his wife try to find a decent place to live, he also struggles to find contributors and readers. The Marches are quickly drawn into the tangled lives of their fellow New Yorkers: a bitter German socialist who lost his hand fighting for the Union in the Civil War, a colonel nostalgic for slavery, Bohemian artists, increasingly desperate workers on strike, a slick publicist, a starchy society family, and a wealthy farmer-turned-speculator who hurts those he loves most.

Born in Ohio, William Dean Howells was a highly successful magazine editor before he became a full-time writer. He believed that this midlife novel, which draws on his own family’s experiences moving from Boston to New York, was his “most vital work.” Mark Twain, whom Howells helped early in his career, called A Hazard of New Fortunes “the exactest & truest portrayal of New York and New York life ever written … a great book.”

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  3. Update word count in metadata

  4. [Editorial] Fix printer's typos

  5. Fix various transcription errors

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