W. D. Howells's Unpublished Letters to J. Harvey Greene
The relationship between W. D. Howells (1H37-1920) and his boyhood friend .James Harvey (or Hervey) Greene (1833-90) is treated only briefly in biographies of Howells, an understandable situation given the extensive network of professional and personal relationships that Howells cultivated throughout his life. But the two men maintained a friendly, if intermittent, correspondence until Greene's death in 1890, and Greene was an important presence during Howells's formative years, as Howells indicates in Years of My Youth (1916). Also supporting the idea of Greene's importance to Howells at this time are the scarce surviving letters, "one in 1852 and seven each in 1857 and 1858 [that] provide only a sketchy account of these years" (Howells, Selected Letters 1:xiv) , of which one mentions Greene and another is written to Greene and his wife Jane. In 2008, seven newly discovered and previously unpublished letters from Howells to Greene were made available for publication by .John T. Narrin, Greene's great-great- great-grandson, and William Griffing, a descendant of Greene's sister Cassie. The rarest of these is a letter from 1854, a year for which no other letter from Howells is known to exist. The Howells-Greene letters held by Narrin include, in addition to the 1854 letter, one from the 1860s. two from the 1870s, and three from the 1880s; another letter from Howells was reprinted in Greene's lengthy obituary in the Medina County Gazette and News in 1890 ("He Sleeps").