Stephen Crane was the youngest of fourteen children. His father was a strict Methodist minister, who died in 1880, leaving his devout, strong mother to raise the rest of the family. Crane lasted through preparatory school, but spent less than two years in college, excelling at Syracuse in baseball and partying far more than academics. After leaving school, he went to live in New York, doing freelance writing and working on his first book Maggie, A Girl of the Streets. His times in New York City were split between his apartment in the Bowery slum in Manhattan and well-off family in the nearby town of Port Jervis. Crane published Maggie, a study of an innocent slum girl and her downfall in a world of prostitution and abuse, in 1893 at his own expense. It was especially scandalous for the times, and sold few copies.
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