A late 19th and early 20th-century American literary critic and author, he edited the Atlantic Monthly and published numerous short stories, including the popular "Christmas Every Day." His novels include The Rise of Silas Lapham and The Sleeping Car.
At an early age, he helped his newspaper editor father with printing work. He later wrote for the Ohio State Journal.
His 1882 novel, A Modern Instance, established his literary reputation.
He and his seven siblings grew up in Martinsville, Ohio. With his wife, Elinor Mead, he had three children.
He published literary criticism on the works of Leo Tolstoy.