Lone Star College-Kingwood Library
First published: 1893
Time of plot: Late Nineteenth Century
Locale: New York City
Keywords: Stephen Crane, Maggie: a Girl of the Streets, naturalism in literature, prostitutes in literature, social class, slum life, suicide
Stephen Crane, the youngest of fourteen children, was born November 1, 1871 in Newark, New Jersey. His father, the Reverend Dr. Jonathan Townley Crane, was a Methodist minister. His mother, Mary Peck Crane, was an educated and involved woman for Victorian times. This deeply religious family moved often as his father changed churches, but, on Dr. Crane's death in 1880, the mother returned with Stephen to New Jersey, first to Newark and then to Asbury Park. She was elected president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in that city and lectured frequently in support of this organization.
Crane, now in his teens, rebelled against his strict upbringing, and was sent to military school. After high school, he attended college for a year and then dropped out. He moved to New York City, where he began his career as a newspaper journalist. He learned much about big city life and his explorations of the Bowery gave him material for his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, published in 1893. Because of the book's controversial subject matter, he had to print it privately. It was not a commercial success but did receive several favorable reviews, including one from the noted author, William Dean Howells.
Crane continued to write and, in 1896, published his most famous work, The Red Badge of Courage This novel was critically acclaimed, and led to international fame. However, his defense of a New York prostitute who had been harassed by the police led to trouble with the authorities, and he fled to Florida to report on the Cuban insurrection against Spain. In Florida he met the madam of a brothel, Cora Taylor, with whom he lived for the rest of his short life. He continued to seek adventure by reporting on conflicts in Greece and the Spanish American War. He lived his last years in England, feverishly writing articles, stories and poems to keep his creditors at bay. He died of tuberculosis in Germany, where Cora had taken him in search of a cure, on June 5, 1900 before he reached the age of thirty. During the next twenty years his work was almost forgotten. In 1923 Thomas Beer published a biography of Crane which once more brought him to public attention, and his reputation has steadily increased since.
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SUBJECTS TO CONSIDER
Librarian talk . . . About Getting Started!
As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage. Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, literary works, events, or broader identifying terms. Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet.
BOOKS CONTAINING CRITICISMS
|Librarian Talk . . .About Books!
Apply online for a library card. Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID or library card to:
1) Place a Hold on a book and have it sent to the library closest to you
Use the Library Catalog to locate books in the Lone Star College System. Enter the author's name, Stephen Crane, in the subject keyword box.
The captains of industry such as John Pierpont Morgan held the power. The industrial revolution was bringing major changes. Railroads now crisscrossed the nation, moving manufactured goods and raw materials to and from the major port cities. Labor issues such as workplace safety, the eight-hour day, and the right to organize were the principles expounded by such labor leaders as Eugene Debs. The increasing diversity of its citizens and the desire by the newcomers to have their piece of the "American pie" led to social and cultural upheaval. The largely Protestant, rural, Anglo-Saxon culture was being displaced. The resultant cultural shock caused feelings of uncertainty and anxiety among the citizens. The country was remaking itself, changing its values, reassessing its long-held notions of democracy and equality, and becoming a society that gauged personal worth by money and possessions. "The Gilded Age" accurately describes the America of the 1880's and 1890's. Stephen Crane's realistic, ironic, and iconoclastic writings come out of this environment.Books about the times
Librarian Talk . . . About Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!
Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use your updated library card to login to the following databases. If you find an interesting article that is not full-text, please give the correct bibliographic information to our Reference Librarians and they will see that you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if they need to. There is some overlap of articles in the following databases. However, we encourage you to use more than one. All are excellent sources for this topic.
ProjectMuse Begin your search by entering the title of the novel in the search box. Click the Modify Search button to add keywords from your thesis - click on the + mark to add search boxes. This database is full text (complete articles) and entirely scholarly, so all articles will be of the appropriate academic level for your research.
Bloom's Literary Reference Online This database is a collection of many analytical essays discussing literature. These essays, originally published in print form, are accessible now for research online. Find information about Maggie: a Girl of the Streets, or read about Stephen Crane's life and entire body of work.
Librarian Talk . . . About the Internet!
The Internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:
The Stephen Crane Society - collection of links to biographical and critical sources, as well as digitized versions of Stephen Crane's works.
Maggie: a Girl of the Streets, an Analysis - a summary with excellent references to other scholarly articles.
Selected Bibliography on Stephen Crane's Maggie - list of sources for articles and books on Maggie.
PS1449.C85 M3 Maggie : a Girl of the Streets and other stories [sound recording] Unabridged (complete book) version on CD is available at LSC-Kingwood Library.
Librarian Talk about getting help!
Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following resources if you need additional help. Remember, the expert on the assignment is your professor; use the LSC Online in-class email to contact her.
Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | LSC-Kingwood library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.
Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
University of Texas Copyright Crash Course | This helpful guide on copyright is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.
Learning Center | Check our hours for in-house tutoring.