Extensive historical annotations have been added to thetext of this Norton Critical Edition. The process of composition is followed through Howells' initialsketches and letters. Analysis of the contemporary stereotypes andmyths that Howells parodied in his novel is provided by Robert Falk,Clark W. Bryan, Theodore Dreiser, and Robie Macauley, and by lettersfrom Roswell Smith to Howells. Contemporary responses by friends and readers, and by critics,illustrate the misunderstanding and hostility with which realisticfiction was sometimes greeted in Howells' time. Critical essays byDonald Pizer, William R. Manierre II, John E. Hart, Harold H. Kolb,George N. Bennett, Everett Carter, and G. Thomas Tanselle represent avariety of ways in which the novel has engaged the attention of criticsas well as a broad selection of the critical methods that have beenapplied to it. As one of the primary documents of American literary realism, the novelraises questions as to the meaning and utility of realism as anaesthetic ideal. These questions are treated in essays by C. HughHolman, Henry James, Larzer Ziff, Edwin H. Cady, Robert M. Figg,Charles L. Campbell, and Howells himself. A Selected Bibliography is also included.Howells, William Dean is the author of 'Rise of Silas Lapham', published 1982 under ISBN 9780393091656 and ISBN 0393091651.