34 Facts About Ambrose Bierce


In recent decades Ambrose Bierce has gained wider respect as a fabulist and for his poetry.


In 1913, Ambrose Bierce told reporters that he was travelling to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution.


Ambrose Bierce was of entirely English ancestry: all of his forebears came to North America between 1620 and 1640 as part of the Great Puritan Migration.


Ambrose Bierce often wrote critically of both "Puritan values" and people who "made a fuss" about genealogy.


Ambrose Bierce's parents were a poor but literary couple who instilled in him a deep love for books and writing.


Ambrose Bierce grew up in Kosciusko County, Indiana, attending high school at the county seat, Warsaw.


Ambrose Bierce left home at 15 to become a printer's devil at a small abolitionist newspaper, the Northern Indianan.


Ambrose Bierce briefly attended the Kentucky Military Institute until it burned down.


Ambrose Bierce participated in the operations in Western Virginia, was present at the Battle of Philippi and received newspaper attention for his daring rescue, under fire, of a gravely wounded comrade at the Battle of Rich Mountain.


Ambrose Bierce fought at the Battle of Shiloh, a terrifying experience that became a source for several short stories and the memoir "What I Saw of Shiloh".


In June 1864, Ambrose Bierce sustained a traumatic brain injury at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and spent the rest of the summer on furlough, returning to active duty in September.


Ambrose Bierce was discharged from the army in January 1865.


Ambrose Bierce remained in San Francisco for many years, eventually becoming famous as a contributor or editor of newspapers and periodicals, including The San Francisco News Letter, The Argonaut, the Overland Monthly, The Californian and The Wasp.


Ambrose Bierce lived and wrote in England from 1872 to 1875, contributing to Fun magazine.


Ambrose Bierce became one of the first regular columnists and editorialists on William Randolph Hearst's newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, eventually becoming one of the most prominent and influential writers and journalists on the West Coast.


One of the most notable of these incidents occurred following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 when Hearst's opponents turned a poem Ambrose Bierce had written about the assassination of Governor William Goebel of Kentucky in 1900 into a cause celebre.


Ambrose Bierce meant his poem to express a national mood of dismay and fear, but after McKinley was shot in 1901, it seemed to foreshadow the crime:.


Bierce edited the twelve volumes of The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, which were published from 1909 to 1912.


Ambrose Bierce has been criticized by his contemporaries and later scholars for deliberately pursuing improbability and for his penchant toward "trick endings".


Ambrose Bierce married Mary Ellen "Mollie" Day on December 25,1871.


Ambrose Bierce separated from his wife in 1888, after discovering compromising letters to her from an admirer.


Ambrose Bierce was an avowed agnostic and strongly rejected the divinity of Christ.


Ambrose Bierce had lifelong asthma, as well as complications from his war wounds, most notably episodes of fainting and irritability assignable to the traumatic brain injury experienced at Kennesaw Mountain.


Ambrose Bierce's last known communication with the world was a letter he wrote there to Blanche Partington, a close friend, dated December 26,1913.


Skeptic Joe Nickell noted that the letter to Partington had not been found, and concluded that Ambrose Bierce deliberately concealed his true whereabouts when he finally went to a selected location in the Grand Canyon and committed suicide.


Oral tradition in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, documented by a priest, James Lienert, states that Ambrose Bierce was executed by firing squad in the town's cemetery.


Ambrose Bierce has been fictionalized in more than 50 novels, short stories, movies, television shows, stage plays, and comic books.


Ambrose Bierce has been portrayed by such well-known authors as Ray Bradbury, Jack Finney, Carlos Fuentes, Winston Groom, Robert Heinlein, and Don Swaim.


Some works featuring a fictional Ambrose Bierce have received favorable reviews, generated international sales, or earned major awards.


Ambrose Bierce was a major character in a series of mystery books written by Oakley Hall and published between 1998 and 2006.


Ambrose Bierce has painful faults of vulgarity and cheapness of imagination.


Ambrose Bierce's fate is the subject of Gerald Kersh's "The Oxoxoco Bottle", which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on December 7,1957, and was reprinted in the anthology Men Without Bones.


Ambrose Bierce reappears in the future on Mount Shasta in Robert Heinlein's novella, "Lost Legacy".


Ambrose Bierce wrote 249 short stories, 846 fables, and more than 300 humorous Little Johnny stories.