Fun Facts Friday: Stephen Crane
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / November 2, 2012

On 1 September 1871, author Stephen Crane was born (d. 5 June, 1900). Crane is best known for his book The Red Badge of Courage. I must say that of all the books I was forced to read in high school, this is one of the few books which I remember. Books by Stephen Crane 1 ) Crane was born in Newark, NJ and was the youngest of 14 kids. 2 ) When his father died, the family relocated to Asbury Park, NJ. 3 ) Crane’s first book, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets was published independently because it was considered scandalous (Maggie’s decline into prostitution and suicide) and Crane, a journalist at the time, could not find a publisher. The book received critical acclaim but failed to sell. 4 ) A year later, 1895, Crane published a book on a more popular topic, The American Civil War. The Red Badge of Courage was first serialized in newspapers and made Crane an international celebrity at 24. 5 ) Due to his celebrity stature, Crane was sent to Cuba to cover the insurrection against Spain. On his way he stayed at a cheap hotel and met Cora Howard Taylor who became his…

Guest Review: Florence and Giles’ By John Harding
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / January 11, 2012

Turning  the Screw…. Florence & Giles is an intriguing Gothic tale, well thought-out and deftly plotted. It owes much of its inspiration to Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and is a tribute to that classic story of misguided and obsessive madness. Set in remote and crumbling New England mansion, twelve-year-old orphan Florence is neglected by her guardian uncle and banned from any formal education as her absent uncle has strong opinions on the dangers of a clever woman.  Ignored by the minimal staff of the house and left to her own devices, she finds the abandoned library, teaches herself to read and devours books in secret – she appears a resourceful and intelligent young heroine. Keeping her self-taught accomplishments a secret from all, she considers them her own personal triumph, seeing herself as literary and articulate against all the odds. She insists on narrating her own story in a language of her own invention. This contrived language is a little awkward to get used to. Her insistence on turning nouns and adjectives to verbs and verbs to nouns “no budgery was to be had. I was in a weepery of frustration” – can rather grate and irritate at first, but…

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