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Stephen Crane:
American Poet, Novelist Of Courage

Stephen Crane was a famous American poet and writer who achieved international fame. He wrote novels, poems, and short stories. The first book was not the most popular; he became much better known after his second book.

On November 1, 1871, Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey. He only lived for 29 years. In 1900, on June 5, he died of tuberculosis in Badenweiler, Germany.

Crane's father was Jonathan Crane, a Methodist minister who died in 1880 when Stephen was 11 years old. Stephen Crane was the youngest of 14 children, all raised by his mother. After attending preparatory school, he went on to study at Lafayette College and Syracuse University. In 1890, after the death of his mother, Stephen Crane moved to New York.

During his time in New York, Stephen Crane started freelancing his way to a literary career. In 1893 he wrote his first book. This book was called Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. The book was about an innocent and abused girl who lived in the slums and got into prostitution to survive. After many harsh years she killed herself. It was not a big hit and the book's lack of success left Crane still in poverty.

He soon befriended Hamlin Garland and Dean Williams. Garland was an American writer and Williams was an influential critic. Stephen Crane published his next novel, The Red Badge of Courage, in 1895.

The Red Badge of Courage was about a young soldier who tried to figure out reality amid the confusion of warfare. The hero of the story, Henry Fleming, discovers courage and humility while he makes it through a Civil War battle. The book was praised by veterans of war because of the actual sense of combat that Crane could produce even though he'd never been to war.

This gave Crane an opportunity to go to Greece as a war correspondent. His personal reasons for going to Greece were to be sure his guess about the psychology of combat was right.

Crane had a fascination with death and danger. In 1897, while aboard a ship called Commodore, an insurrection occurred nearby in Cuba. The ship sank and Crane made it safely to land riding on a dinghy. This led to the creation of the short story, "The Open Boat."

During the Greco-Turkish War, Crane became a reporter for the New York Journal. During the Spanish-American War he reported for New York Journal and New York World. He was accompanied by Cora Taylor, who settled down with Crane in England following the Spanish-American War. He then wrote Active Service, a novel about the Greek War.

Stephen Crane also wrote many things that were not popular during his lifetime. Some of those works include The O'Ruddy, The Monster and Other Stories, Whilomville Stories, George's Mother, The Little Regiment, "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky", Wounds in the Rain, and his most famous poem, "War Is Kind". Stephen Crane's career was unfortunately cut short, but he was still very successful as a novelist, nonfiction writer, and poet.

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