Stephen Crane, Impactful Writer Gone Too Soon
Stephen Crane (1871-1900), author of The Red Badge of Courage (an 1895 classic available as a free e-book at https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks), lived in Jacksonville in his adult years, but there is not much to see of his life in Jacksonville now.
Though his most famous work was set during the Civil War, he had no direct war experience while writing it. Later in his short life, he served as a war correspondent in Greece and then the Spanish-American War in Cuba. Read about his war experience and related writing through a Library of Congress record here: https://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/crane.html.
Read more about the author’s life here: https://www.biography.com/writer/stephen-crane.
Lilian Place Museum and the March Crane Festival
Instead of searching for the author’s life in Jacksonville, you are better off visiting Lilian Place in Daytona Beach, which is restored and ready for visitors. He stayed there as a midway point between his dealings with Cuba and his life in Jacksonville. Lilian Place is mentioned in his story The Open Boat.
According to https://www.lilianplacehc.org:
“Lilian Place is the oldest grand house on Daytona’s beachside. This Italianate Victorian house was built in 1884 by one of the city’s first settlers Laurence Thompson (1848-1920). Lilian Place sat abandoned and neglected until December of 2009, when the Trust was awarded a Volusia County ECHO Grant to acquire this significant site. This prime example of Italianate High Victorian architecture with its high ceilings, carved woodwork, and heart-of-pine floors is one of only two in Volusia County, Florida. The house has a “widow’s walk,” which is off the tower narrow balcony. Lilian Place named after Lilian Thompson (1873-1934), daughter of Laurence Thompson, who lived in the house until her death.”
Daytona has hosted a Stephen Crane Festival annually in March.
Read more about Stephen Crane through our New Jersey page here: Stephen Crane in New Jersey.
This is the second stop on Florida Author Adventures Trail #1.
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