Bronson Howard

Bronson Howard

Howard, Bronson, 1842-1908, American dramatist, b. Detroit. His plays are important in the development of American drama. He was a newspaper reporter in New York until the success of his first play, Saratoga, a farcical comedy produced in 1870. He wrote 12 subsequent plays, including Young Mrs. Winthrop (1882), one of the first American dramas of social criticism; The Henrietta (1887), a satire on business practice; and by far his most popular play, Shenandoah (1888), a Civil War drama, first unsuccessfully produced but revived the following year with great success.

See his collected plays (ed. by A. G. Halline, 1941).

Bronson Howard (October 7, 1842 in DetroitAugust 4, 1908 in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey) was a well-known American dramatist. He prepared for college at New Haven, Conn., but instead of entering Yale he turned to Journalism in New York. From 1867 to 1872 he worked on several newspapers, among them the Evening Mail and the Tribune. As early as 1864 he had written a dramatic piece (Fantine) which was played in Detroit. His first important play was Saratoga, produced by Augustin Daly in 1870. It was very successful and became the first of a long series of pieces which gave Mr. Howard a foremost position among American playwrights. Among his other best-known plays are:

  • The Banker's Daughter (1878)
  • Old Love Letters (1878)
  • Young Mrs. Winthrop (1882)
  • One of our Girls (1885)
  • The Henrietta (1887; revived in 1913 as The New Henrietta)
  • Shenandoah (1889)
  • Aristocracy (1892)

In 1899 he collaborated with Brander Matthews in Peter Stuyvesant. He married a sister of Sir Charles Wyndham, the English actor, and he had homes both in New York and London, where some of his plays were no less popular than in America. Bronson Howard was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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