A Sole SurvivorBits of Autobiography
Cloth Edition, $40.00s
Cloth ISBN: 1-57233-018-X
Status: In Print
DescriptionA brilliant author and satirist famous for his sardonic wit, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?) remains one of the most colorful figures in American letters. He fought in the Civil War, worked as a journalist in both the United States and England, and produced such enduring works as The Devil's Dictionary and the classic short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." In 1913, he disappeared into war-torn Mexico and is believed to have died there.
This book brings together, for the first time in one volume, all of Bierce's autobiographical writings; much of this material has never been reprinted since its original appearance in newspapers. The editors have organized these writings into a comprehensive account of Bierce's long life. The core of the book is "Bits of Autobiography," a series of eleven essays Bierce wrote about his Civil War experiences (in which he saw action at key battles such as Shiloh and Chickamauga), his adventures as a Treasury Department aide in the Reconstruction era South, and his three years as a Grub Street hack in London.
In combing through Bierce's voluminous journalism and letters, the editors uncovered many other autobiographical passages, which they have included here. These writings describe Bierce's slow rise to celebrity as a journalist in San Francisco and as a writer of tales of the Civil War and of the supernatural, his celebrated battle with the railroad baron Collis P. Huntington in 1896, and his stormy relationship with William Randolph Hearst during his long tenure with the San Francisco Examiner.
This volume helps to dispel many of the myths that have reduced Bierce to a perennially embittered, misanthropic caricature. It reveals a man whose intolerance for fools, scoundrels, and hypocrites and whose magisterial gifts of satire and repartee placed him among the most feared writers of his time.
The Editors: S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer and editor and the author of several books, including H.P. Lovecraft: A Life and The Weird Tale. He was formerly a senior managing editor for Chelsea House Publishers in New York.
David E. Schultz is a technical editor for an environmental engineering firm in Milwaukee. He edited a critical edition of H. P. Lovecraft's Commonplace Book, and, with S. T. Joshi, he coedited four volumes of Lovecraft's letters as well as An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H. P. Lovecraft.
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