William Dean Howells was the author of many novels, including A Hazard of New Fortunes, and the editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He was known as "The Dean of American Letters."
"All civilization comes through literature now, especially in our country. A Greek got his civilization by talking and looking, and in some measure a Parisian may still do it. But we, who live remote from history and monuments, we must read or we must barbarise."