By Mike Miller
Stephen Crane didn't quite make it to thirty, dying in 1900 at the age of twenty-nine. During his short life he became an important and well known author.
His books and stories are still being read and enjoyed more than one hundred years after his death.
He visited Florida but never lived in the state. We include him among our Florida authors because of his 1898 short story, "The Open Boat".
The story, based on Crane's own experience, takes place in a small boat in the angry surf near Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach.
Crane was on the way to Cuba on the S.S. Commodore when the ship sank off the coast of Florida. He and others drifted for 30 hours in a dinghy.
Probably Crane's best known and widely read book is his novel, "Red Badge of Courage", a Civil War tale.
Ernest Hemingway believed "The Red Badge of Courage" was one of the finest works of American literature.
In Hemingway's "The Green Hills of Africa" he wrote that "The good writers are Henry James, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain. That's not the order they're good in. There is no order for good writers."
Here are some of Stephen Crane's most important works.