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Ambrose Bierce Correspondence File: Finding Aid
mssHM 7294-7308, mssHM 10100-10449, mssHM 10458, mssHM 24312-24315, mssHM 47545  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection consists of letters written by American author and satirist Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) between 1871 and 1913, chiefly concerning the details of Bierce’s multi-volume Collected Works. A majority of the letters are written to the editor of that project, Walter Neale, as well as another of Bierce's editors, Silas Orrin Howes. The letters often contain discourse about the contents of the volumes, transportation of proofs, and deadlines.
Background
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-1914?) was an American author and satirist best remembered for his cynical collection of definitions known as The Devil’s Dictionary. Bierce also penned numerous short stories, often with supernatural themes (“The Damned Thing”), Civil War themes (“A Horseman in the Sky”), or a little of both (“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”). Bierce’s experience as a soldier no doubt influenced his writing, and he performed excellent service for the majority of the Civil War. After receiving a medical discharge in January 1865 for a head wound suffered during combat, Bierce began contributing essays and stories to California newspapers. William Randolph Hearst hired Bierce to write for the San Francisco Examiner in 1887, and Bierce gained notoriety thanks to his brutally cynical columns and editorials. After spending three years editing his Collected Works, Bierce traveled to Mexico to cover the rebellion of Pancho Villa. In 1914, shortly after arriving in Mexico, Bierce vanished without a trace. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance have remained a mystery.
Extent
373 items in 5 boxes
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.