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Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.

Crane, Stephen.

The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.

First UK edition. London, William Heinemann, 1896. 16 cm x 24 cm. 194 pages. Hardcover / The rare, original publisher’s cloth with cover design on front and rear. Excellent condition with minor signs of external wear. Exlibris / Bookplate by preowner Phyllis Davies to pastedown. [The Pioneer Series].

“Crane began writing the book that would become The Red Badge of Courage (at first it was titled “Private Fleming/His various battles”) in June 1893, and submitted the completed manuscript of 55,000 words to the publisher SS McClure, who held it for six months without making a decision. Once Crane had retrieved his still unpublished work he gave it to another publisher, Irving Bacheller, who sold the serial rights to the Philadelphia Press. So The Red Badge of Courage made its first appearance as a serialisation of just 18,000 words, a version that was quickly reprinted in more than 200 city newspapers and nearly 600 weekly publications, where it was an immediate hit with readers.

″The success of the serialisation led to publication in book form by D Appleton in October 1895. This version was 5,000 words shorter than Crane’s original; many strange and disfiguring cuts were not restored until the definitive Norton & Co edition of 1982. Here in the UK, William Heinemann launched a British edition in 1896 as part of its Pioneer series. HG Wells, who was a friend of Crane’s, noted enviously that The Red Badge of Courage was welcomed with “an orgy of praise” in England, which encouraged Crane to settle here in the years before his premature death in 1900. It was a brief moment of happiness for the young man. Crane wrote to a friend: “I have only one pride and that is that the English edition of The Red Badge of Courage has been received with great praise by the English reviewers. I am proud of this simply because the remoter people would seem more just and harder to win.” Another critic, Harold Frederic, wrote that: “If there were in existence any books of a similar character, one could start confidently by saying that it was the best of its kind. But it has no fellows. It is a book outside of all classification. So unlike anything else is it that the temptation rises to deny that it is a book at all.” (Guardian)

EUR 175,-- 

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Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.
Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.
Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.
Crane, The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.