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The Red Badge of Courage

Stephen Crane. Introduction by J. C. Levenson
 
 
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BUY Cloth · 420 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813905143 · $80.00 · Mar 1975

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Novel of the American Civil War by Stephen Crane, published in 1895 and considered to be his masterwork for its perceptive depiction of warfare and of the psychological turmoil of the soldier. Crane had had no experience of war when he wrote the novel, which he based partly on a popular anthology, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. The Red Badge of Courage has been called the first modern war novel because, uniquely for its time, it tells of the experience of war from the point of view of an ordinary soldier. Henry Fleming is eager to demonstrate his patriotism in a glorious battle, but when the slaughter starts, he is overwhelmed with fear and flees the battlefield. Ironically, he receives his "red badge of courage" when he is slightly wounded by being struck on the head by a deserter. He witnesses a friend's gruesome death and becomes enraged at the injustice of war. The courage of common soldiers and the agonies of death cure him of his romantic notions. He returns to his regiment and continues to fight on with true courage and without illusions.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

This edition of the seasoned veteran provides a new twist. Crane's Badge was originally serialized in the New York Press in 1894, a year before the story was published in novel form. This volume offers both the slightly different serial version and the finished work. Though every library no doubt has numerous copies of Red Badge, academic and public libraries supporting American literature curricula should pop for this one, too, especially at the price.

Library Journal

About the Author(s): 

Fredson Bowers was Linden Kent Professor of English at the University of Virginia. J. C. Levenson was Edgar Allan Poe Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

 
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