Stephen Crane was born November 1, 1871 in Newark New Jersey. He was the eight surviving child out of fourteen. Incredibly he began writing at the age of four and was published several times by the age of sixteen. He only began full time school when he was nine but quickly mastered the grades needed and moved forward. Although educated at Lafayette and Syracuse he had little interest in completing university and was keen to move on to a career declaring college to be 'a waste of time'. By twenty he was a reporter and two years later he published his first book Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets. In literary circles this is held up as the first work in American literary Naturalism. Two years later in 1895 he was the subject of worldwide acclaim for his Civil War novel, written without the benefit of any actual war experiences, The Red Badge Of Courage. It was indeed a masterpiece and his finest hour. A year later whilst researching he became embroiled in a scandal which was to doom the young writers career. In attempting to help a suspected prostitute being falsely charged by a policeman he in essence became the target and life became increasingly difficult for him. Later the same year en route to Cuba as a War Correspondent he met hotel madam Cora Taylor in Jacksonville Florida. This was to become the defining relationship of his life. Somewhere between Florida and Cuba his ship sank and he was cast adrift for several days. Rescued he continued to cover conflicts as far away as Greece. For a time he lived in England with Cora, usually beyond their means, taking up friendships with writers such as HG Wells and Joseph Conrad. In declining health and beset by money problems, Stephen Crane died of tuberculosis, aged 28 on June 5, 1900, at Badenweiler, Germany. He is buried in New Jersey He was a great talent who could, had he lived, delivered so much more. Wounds In The Rain and other short stories display once again the glories and riches of that talent.
Wounds in the Rain
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