1. ‘‘A Strangely Exciting Story’’
Elizabeth Jordan, Three Rousing Cheers (New York: D. Appleton-Cen-
tury, 1938) 258. Throughout, quotations from Jordan not otherwise iden-
tified are from this book. Although Jordan’s autobiography is an indis-
pensable source, it is not a wholly reliable one. In comparing the extant
letters with the versions printed in Three Rousing Cheers, Leon Edel and
Lyall Powers (editors of Henry James and the Bazar Letters [New York:
New York Public Library, 1958]) and Alfred Bendixen (in his introduc-
tion to the reprint of the novel [New York: Ungar, 1986]) found that
Jordan had made a number of alterations. I rely on their work as well as
my own examination of her papers at the New York Public Library.
A further note: according to Eugene Exman, Jordan ‘‘insisted that her
name be pronounced with the stress on the last syllable’’ (The House of
Harper [New York: Harper & Row, 1967] 126).
The letters quoted in this and the subsequent paragraph are in the Jor-
dan papers and are also published in Howells, Life in Letters, ed. Mildred
Howells (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1928) 2: 223–25.
Howells’s scorching letter is not in Jordan’s papers. She seems to have
been uncharacteristically cautious and destroyed it—unless she was ex-
aggerating the vehemence of the note dated July 31 (one week after Free-
man submitted her chapter), in which he suggests placing ‘‘The Old-
Maid Aunt’’ late in the book (as first planned) and not sending it to the
other contributors. Howells had volunteered to modify his chapter to
mesh with subsequent ones, but that possibility is not mentioned after
this point.
Howells, Criticism and Fiction (1891), rpt. in Selected Literary Criticism,
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