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A Modern Instance

A Modern Instance (Hardcover) by William Dean Howells (Author)

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Summary

From Wikipedia

The novel explores the deterioration of what could have been an otherwise healthy marriage through industrial enterprise and capitalistic greed. The story chronicles the rise and fall of the romance between Bartley Hubbard and Marcia Gaylord, who migrate from Equity, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts following their marriage. The reader believes at the beginning of the story that their love for each other is unbreakable, but as the plot advances, more and more troubles arise, alienating the couple. Soon their entire marriage collapses, inundated with problems from a wide array of areas. Marcia Hubbard, lost and desolate in the gloom of her husband's abandoning her, is offered solace in the comforting touch of her friend Ben Halleck, who secretly is attracted to her. However, he worries that she may reject him, unable to move on from her previous partner. The story concludes in a meaningless vortex of isolation representing modern society. Marcia Hubbard, still attached to Bartley, confines herself to her father's home in Equity, Maine, from which she never leaves. Bartley, on the other hand, has died. Ben Halleck stands hesitantly, unable to determine whether or not he should seize the chance and propose to her.

Contemporary Review

A Book Review that explores the effects of serialization on a novel from the November 1882 issue of The Atlantic Monthly

A Literature Review from the January 1883 issue of The Century:  a popular quarterly, the magazine that had serialized the novel

A "Home and Society" article about the popularity of the novel among "young men" from the same January 1883 issue of The Century:  a popular quarterly

The first installment of the serial version from the January 1882 issue of The Century:  a popular quarterly

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