2008 Queries

“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”: Bride’s ethnicity?

Is the reader meant to wonder about the bride’s ethnicity?
If the Bride herself were all, or at least partly, “yellow,” would that be a factor in explaining the reactions of the porters, or the bride’s own blush of understanding in acknowledgement of her husband’s wordless fears?

I am not a student. So you need not worry about “doing my homework” for me

Thank you for your time,


It is highly unlikely that the bride is meant to be Asian or another ethnicity. Crane rarely, if ever, provides a coded reference to ethnicity in this way, preferring to name the person’s race or country of origin instead; see his stories about Mexico for an example.

The bride’s blushes are caused by “the careless scrutiny of some passengers,” and they occur for several reasons. First, since she is “not pretty, nor was she very young,” this may be the most elaborate dress she has ever had, and the “puff sleeves” that were fashionable in the 1890s “embarrassed her.” She’s a working-class woman: she has an “under-class countenance” and “It was quite apparent that she had cooked, and that she expected to cook, dutifully.” It’s also obvious that she has probably never been on a train before; she doesn’t know how much a meal in the dining car costs, nor what time the train gets into the station. These ordinary facts are a revelation to her, and she feels out of place in a spot that is to her as sumptuous as a palace might be to the rest of us.

The porter “oppressed them” and “used all the manners of the most unconquerable kind of snobbery” for two reasons: first, he can see that they’re not used to travel, and he is used to it; and second, “the man’s face in particular beamed with an elation that made him appear ridiculous to the negro porter.” Jack appears ridiculous because he and the bride are newlyweds, and “Historically there was supposed to be something infiinitely humorous in their situation.” The humor comes from the tradition that the marriage was supposed to be the bride’s initiation into sexual experience, and the men on the train know this. Modern attitudes toward sex have changed so much that this context, like the jokes about honeymoons common in early books and movies, has been all but lost, but this is the source of the strange behavior on the part of the porter and the travelers.

–Donna Campbell


Maggie and Crane’s mother

I recently read several of Crane’s works and am now a fan. I am curious about the name choice for Mary Johnson in Maggie. I read that Crane’s mother was named Mary. It seems as though he may have rejected his parents religious beliefs, so I don’t know what the relationship was like between Crane and his mother. Is there any correlation between the two? I find it odd that he use his mother’s name for this character, if he and his mother had a close and loving relationship. If my son named such a horrid character the same name as mine, I would not be happy.

Thank you,

LJ 11/25/08

Crane’s relationship with his mother was not close and loving, but, although her name was not hyphenated, she was always referred to as Mary Helen rather than simply as Mary. The Johnson family in Maggie s usually viewed as being Irish-American (despite the Wasp name Johnson), and the oldest daughter in an Irish family is customarily named Mary. Maggie’s mother is a brawling alcoholic, while Mary Helen Peck Crane was extremely religious, the daughter of a Methodist clergyman, and the niece of a Methodist bishop. She was strongly opposed to the consumption of alcohol in any form and vice-president of the WCTU of New Jersey. There is, on the other hand, some resemblance between Crane’s mother and Mrs. Kelcey in George’s Mother.

–Stanley Wertheim, 11/29/08

Adaptation of “The Open Boat”


Firstly, this is a wonderful site. It is very informative and I appreciate the time the Stephen Crane Society takes in maintaining it. I live just north of Daytona Beach and was only recently told the story of Stephen Crane’s shipwreck along our coast. I was fascinated by the story and set out to learn all I could about the sinking of the S.S. Commodore and Crane’s experience thereafter. I tend to be a “visual person” and after reading “The Open Boat” a few times I was struck by the fact that Crane never overtly describes the appearances of his companions on the boat. There is a passing reference to the Cook’s general appearance and the fact that Billy Higgins is physically a strong and able man but other than this we are really given no differentiating characteristics of the men. Now on to my question, finally. I have heard that there is a sort of adaptation of “The Open Boat” called “Stephen Crane and the Commodore” that is for sale down at the Ponce Inlet lighthouse, I believe. Can you: a) confirms this, b) comment on the authenticity of the film both from an historical as well as literary standpoint, and c) recommend buying it as a worthwhile supplement to this great short story?

Thank you in advance.

Emily C. Goldenberg



I was one of the researchers and technical advisors for Thomas W. Taylor’s “Stephen Crane and the Commodore” produced by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, so I am of course biased in favor of the film. I believe that it is as accurate and faithful to Crane’s intentions as a dramatic production can be. I suppose that the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse museum still has copies for sale, but I think you should contact them directly to confirm this. Also consult  http://www.volusia.com/crane/–Stanley Wertheim, 11/5/08

1893 Edition of Maggie

I am student at St.Thomas University in Fredericton NB CAN and I am studying Crane at length. I would love to find an free or low cost version of the original unedited 1893 text of Maggie:A Girl of the streets do you if any exist?

Amy Tudor


If you want a facsimile of the 1893 Maggie, it won’t be “free or low cost.”  You can order the 1966 facsimile edited by Joseph Katz from Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints  at:http://www.scholarsbooklist.com/Home_Page.html. If you simply want the text of the 1893 Maggie, any paperback edition of the novelette currently in print will be adequate. Nobody has reproduced the 1896 text in an edition intended for student use in a generation. The 1893 text is also available on line on this web site.–Stanley Wertheim, 11/5/08

Crane Memorial

When the WPA Crane Memorial on Mulberry Street in downtown Newark was demolished in 1997, was anything preserved?

It appeared as a brick wall with inscriptions and a likeness of Crane in terra cotta.
Glen Leiner
New York


The playground to which you are referring was not on Mulberry Street in Newark but on Mulberry Place, a distinctly different location. I have no idea whether the brick wall on which the terra cotta memorial to Crane appeared was preserved or not when the playground was demolished, if it was demolished, but since you live in New York, you might drive over and look.

–Stanley Wertheim, 10/19/08

Picture of Red Badge Cover

Hello, this isn’t exactly a question regarding Crane himself, so excuse me if I’m not going through the correct channels.  I’m currently in the process of finishing Wikipedia’s article on Stephen Crane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Crane) and hope to have it promoted to Featured Status in the near future, which is the highest attainable rank for Wikipedia articles.  What I need to know, however, is whether or not the cover of The Red Badge of Courage located athttp://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/pics/redbadgecover.jpg is the first or second edition?  How can I verify and cite this?  I cannot seem to find a better image from my sources, so if there is a more verifiable version available, I would appreciate some guidance.  Thank you for your help!

Maria Atilano


The photograph which is displayed by your link seems to show the front panel of the dust jacket ofThe Red Badge of Courage. However, this corresponds, more or less to the front cover of the first edition. Appleton preserved the same format of the covers through 1914.

–Stanley Wertheim

Point of View in “An Episode of War”
I am trying to determine the point of view for “Episode of War?” I am leaning towards 3rd person limited, with the reader being limited to knowing the thoughts and feelings of the lieutenant. Is the narrator an outside observer of all that is going on?Thanks.
DF Gilliam

Despite its curtailed length, “An Episode of War” is sometimes compared in both structure and theme to The Red Badge of Courage, which is subtitled “An Episode of the American Civil War.” There is also a similarity in the shifts in point of view that occur in these narratives. Both protagonists are alienated by the traumatic shock of battle, wander aimlessly through a surrealistic hinterland, and finally make an imperfect adjustment to society. “An Episode of War” opens as a third person narrative, but “[a]s the wounded officer  passed from the line of battle,” there is a shift to what is virtually an inner narrative, with its distortions and obfuscations, until the end when the narrator once more assumes dominance by ironically informing the reader that “this is the story of how the lieutenant lost his arm.”

— Stanley Wertheim

Crane Poems

Hi there,
I am looking for the cost to reprint a Stephen Crane poem from Stephen Crane Poems & Literary Remains. Do you know who I could contact about this? I don’t need actual permissions at this time; I am just doing preliminary book research for a book on poetry and the press, and the author is gathering information on costs to hopefully seek funding for publishing it.


Sarah Schaale 8/8/08

Crane’s literary works are in the public domain, and there are usually no costs or permissions required to reprint them. However, if you wish, as you apparently do, to reprint specific texts of these works appearing in an edition such as The University Press of Virginia Edition of the Works of Stephen Crane, Vol. 10, you will need the permission of the Press. Academic publishers usually charge small fees for such reprint rights.

–Stanley Wertheim, 8/11/08

New works by Crane discovered?

I have the Virginia Edition of the Works of Stephen Crane as well as the set of his Correspondence published in 1988, which I suppose were complete at their time of publication.  Since then have any new articles, stories or letters written by Crane been discovered and added to his body of work?  I know there was an article by Michael Robertson et al in the Fall 2000 issue of “Stephen Crane Studies,” which apparently  reprinted over a dozen journalistic pieces he suggested were Crane’s based on style, which I have not yet been able to see.  Any leads you can give me would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Steven Smith

There have been a number of new Crane letters discovered since the publication of theCorrespondence in 1988. Some of these are significant additions to Crane’s known correspondence. Almost all new Crane letters, with the exception of routine responses to requests for autographs, have been published over the years in Stephen Crane Studies and in other academic journals such asAmerican Literary Realism.
The new Crane journalistic pieces  suggested in the SCS article by Michael Robertson have not to my knowledge been published or even cited elsewhere. The attributions were based on a computer study of style, the principles of which are beyond my Luddite understanding. However, based my own reading of these pieces, I find no convincing evidence that any of them was written by Crane.

–Stanley Wertheim, 8/8/08

Crane photograph
I am trying to find a photograph (or photo-illustration) of Stephen Crane published in the New York Journalnewspaper in the mid-to-late 1890s. The image is that of Crane sitting at a well-appointed writer’s desk; ie, Crane as respectable literary gentleman. Does anyone know which issue of the Journal this image appeared in?
Email: gsallen@yahoo.com

Crane portraits

Are any portraits of Stephen Crane in the public domain?

Roy M. Pitkin, r.pitkin@earthlink.net


All photographs, drawings, and paintings of Stephen Crane are in the public domain. Nevertheless, individual images may be owned by institutions and private collectors, and it is conventional to request and to acknowledge permission to reproduce them. Institutions often charge a small fee for copies of such images.
— Stanley Wertheim

Versions of “An Experiment in Misery”

I am a student of American Literature in Spain. We are currently studying Stephen Crane, and his short story “An Experiment in Misery”. I have been doing some research and I have found a webpage indicating that there was a foreword and a coda, not generally included in book versions, but which appeared in the original New York Press printing. It can be found in the following webpage: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/An_Experiment_in_Misery

Could you please help me verify this piece of information? Thanks a lot in advance!


When “An Experiment in Misery” first printed in the New York Press on 22 April 1894, it was enveloped by a framework that begins and ends with a conversation between the young protagonist and an older friend who stand on a sidewalk observing a tramp. This introductory frame continues with the young man going to the studio of an artist friend from whom he borrows an old suit and brown derby hat. “And then the youth went forth to try to eat as the tramp may eat, and sleep as the wanderers sleep.” When “An Experiment in Misery” was collected in the Heinemann edition of The Open Boat and Other Stories, the opening frame was dropped, but some of it was incorporated, in revised form, into the body of the story itself. The young man is now depicted as a genuine bum undergoing a real experience, and consequently the title seems inappropriate, and the sentence, revised from the Press, “He was going forth to eat as the wanderer my eat, and sleep as the homeless sleep,” is ambiguous. The closing portion of the framework was also deleted in book publication since it had become inapplicable and was in any event redundant to the young man’s reflections in the final two paragraphs of the story. The removal of the framework changes the perspective of the central character from that of a dispassionate observer, probably an investigative reporter, to that of a participant whose detachment is tenuous and who fears that he may also become submerged in the in the hapless life of the destitute.– Stanley Wertheim

Back Issues of Stephen Crane Studies

I am interested in locating information regarding a critical analysis of “The Little Regiment.”
Volume 14#2 (Fall, 2005) of Stephen Crane Studies contains an article by John Clendenning about “The Thematic Unity of ‘ The Little Regiment.'”
May I purchase the volume?

Sincerely yours,

Vincent W. Mele


Yes, you can purchase any of the issues of Stephen Crane Studies. We have a printable order form for back issues here:


Grant Opportunities: Stephen CraneI’m writing to inquire about possible grant opportunities for artists associated with Stephen Crane. We represent at our gallery the artist Duston Spear http://saratecchia.com/artists/duston_spear/ who has worked the prose of Crane into her paintings extensively for two decades. She is a wonderful artist and is looking to make a small Crane/Spear publication. It is for this endeavor that she is looking for funding. If you have any suggestions or advice, please do let me know – I’d be extremely grateful for any information.

All the best,

Risa Needleman
Associate Director

Sara Tecchia Roma New York
529 West 20th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011


Crane Poem

I was doing a search for a Crane poem I believe I read as a teen … about a person chasing the horizon.

Any suggestions where I might find it?


Yes, this is a poem by Crane. It is from The Black Riders and Other LInes.XXIV
I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never-”
“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.

Poem by Crane

Does anyone know of a poem by Crane entitled Edelweis, Little Rose, or Just Out?


No, nobody knows of a poem by Crane entitled “Edelweis,” “Little Rose,” or “Just Out.” In fact, Crane poems don’t have titles.

–Stanley Wertheim, 2/17/08

Decoration Day articles by Crane?

I was looking at two articles in “Nineteenth Century Fiction,” one by Daniel Hoffman and the other by Thomas Gullason debating whether or not Crane was the author of two newspaper pieces: “The Gratitude of a Nation”
and “Veteran’s Ranks Thinner by a Year.”

I have been unable to find further commentary on this issue. Have these articles been dismissed as not written by Crane, accepted into his canon, or passed over as irrelevant?

John Casey
PhD Candidate
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of English


The question of whether Crane wrote “The Gratitude of a Nation” or “Veterans Ranks Thinner by a Year” or neither or both, is discussed at length, as are most of the other 1950s teapot tempests of this nature involving Crane, under the appropriate titles in A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia (1997).

–Stanley Wertheim, 1/12/08


According to The Stephen Crane Encyclopedia, “There is some controversy over this Decoration Day newspaper piece [“The Gratitude of a Nation”]. . . . It seems unlikely that Crane [in a letter to Hamlin Garland] is referring to this manuscript since “tHe Gratitude of a Nation” is a sentimental and thoroughly conventional tribue to the diminishing number of Civil War veterans . . . . More probably, Crane in his letter ot Garland is alluding to the sardonic ‘Veterans’ Ranks Thinner by the Year'” (135) although “Crane’s authorship of this sardonic Decoration Day parade report [“Veterans”] . . . is debatable” (351).

–D. Campbell

Crane Memorial

When the Crane Memorial of Mulberry Street in Newark was demolished in 1997, was anything preserved?


Crane’s residence in Rought DunmoreI was wondering if you might have the Rought Dunmore address where Crane stayed. I was a studnet in the Dunmore School District many many years ago. Back then, an English teacher told me that Crane stayed in a house on Blakely Street.

Thank you for your help



On 18-19 May 1894, Crane and a friend, the illustrator Corwin Knapp Linson, travelled to the area of Scranton, Pennsylvana, to research a feature article on working conditions in the coal mines for the McClure Syndicate. After two descents into one of the Dunmore mines, Crane wrote a draft of his article at the house of the painter John Willard Raught in Dunmore. I do not know the precise address of this house. “In the Depths of a Coal Mine” was syndicated by McClure in various newspapers on 22 July and included in the August 1894 issue of McClure’s Magazine with illustrations by Linson.

–Stanley Wertheim, 1/3/08

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