Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

Front Cover
Kent State University Press, 2004 - Fiction - 222 pages
This revised edition of Ambrose Bierce's 1892 collection of "Soldiers" and "Civilians" tales fills a void in American literature. A veteran of the Civil War and a journalist known for his integrity and biting satire, Ambrose Bierce was also a lively short-story writer of considerable depth and power. As San Francisco's most famous journalist during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Bierce was hired by William Randolph Hearst to write a column for San Francisco Examiner, where his "Soldiers" and "Civilians" tales first appeared during the late 1880s. By the standards of his day and ours, Bierce's journalism was often brilliantly insightful, viciously libelous, petty, and grand, frequently in the space of a single paragraph. This edition reveals the often compelling artistry of Bierce's original versions of the tales and the intentionally intricate design and scope of the original collection.

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Contents

IV
3
V
9
VI
17
VII
23
VIII
29
IX
39
X
44
XI
51
XVI
86
XVII
98
XVIII
105
XIX
109
XX
113
XXI
120
XXII
125
XXIII
130

XII
58
XIII
63
XIV
71
XV
80
XXIV
217
XXV
220
Copyright

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Page 195 - O'er all there hung a shadow and a fear ; A sense of mystery the spirit daunted, And said, as plain as whisper in the ear, The place is Haunted!
Page 187 - Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken, In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore; But , alas ! in a far foreign land I awaken, And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!
Page 19 - He moved among them freely, going from one to another and peering into their faces with childish curiosity. All their faces were singularly white and many were streaked and gouted with red. Something in this — something too, perhaps, in their grotesque attitudes and movements — reminded him of the painted clown whom he had seen last summer in the circus, and he laughed as he watched them. But on and ever on they crept, these maimed and bleeding men, as heedless as he of the dramatic contrast...
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About the author (2004)

Ambrose Bierce was a brilliant, bitter, and cynical journalist. He is also the author of several collections of ironic epigrams and at least one powerful story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Bierce was born in Ohio, where he had an unhappy childhood. He served in the Union army during the Civil War. Following the war, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a columnist for the newspaper the Examiner, for which he wrote a number of satirical sketches. Bierce wrote a number of horror stories, some poetry, and countless essays. He is best known, however, for The Cynic's Word Book (1906), retitled The Devil's Dictionary in 1911, a collection of such cynical definitions as "Marriage: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two." Bierce's own marriage ended in divorce, and his life ended mysteriously. In 1913, he went to Mexico and vanished, presumably killed in the Mexican revolution.

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