William Dean Howells spent few years in Venice as a consul and he wove the life of the town and country into fiction in a charming manner. Images of this can be found especially in "A Foregone Conclusion", one of his "Venice novels". The history and the background of Venice represent the major part of the incredible story.
In "Ragged Lady" he tells an amazing story of a girl who goes to Venice where she meets a men destined to be her husband. As in most of his novels, characters are quite realistic and narrative is tinted with soft humor.
"The Lady of the Aroostook" is a novel about the passage of innocence to experience for a young girl and also about the breaking of old customs and traditions. Lydia is gifted with beauty and an astonishing singing voice. She is traveling to Venice aboard the Aroostook in order to live with her Aunt and Uncle and to cultivate her voice. Throughout her journey on the Aroostook and her interactions with her shipmate James Staniford in particular, she begins to fall in love and pass from an innocent young girl to an experience mature woman.
William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was an American realist author, literary critic, and playwright. Howells is known to be the father of American realism, and a denouncer of the sentimental novel. He was the first American author to bring a realist aesthetic to the literature of the United States.