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Ambrose Bierce
Bierce
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1842
Date of Death: 1914(?)
Cause of Death: Unknown
Religion: Atheist
Occupation: Author, columnist, critic
Spouse: Mary Ellen "Mollie" Day (divorced)
Children: Day (son); Leigh (son); Helen (daughter)
Turtledove Appearances:
Atlantis
POD: c 85,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: 1452
Appearance(s): "The Scarlet Band"
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Nationality: United States of Atlantis
In High Places
POD: 1348
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Ambrose Bierce (24 June 1842 - December 2013 or January 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist.

Bierce served in the United States Army in the American Civil War, and received severe injuries in 1864. After the war, Bierce began his writing career. From roughly 1870 through the end of his life, Bierce produced a substantial body of fiction in several genres, as well as non-fiction.

Bierce's personal life was rather tragic. His two sons predeceased him, and he eventually divorced his wife. In October, 1913, he traveled to Mexico to cover the Revolution more personally. For a time, he rode with Pancho Villa's army. However, after a last letter send to a friend in December, 1913, Bierce vanished. His ultimate fate remains a tantalizing mystery to this day.

Literary Trivia

The title of Harry Turtledove's The Victorious Opposition, book three of the American Empire trilogy within the Southern Victory series (and book seven overall), is derived from Bierce's work The Devil's Dictionary. Manichaeism is defined as "The ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant warfare between Good and Evil. When Good gave up the fight, the Persians joined the victorious opposition."

Ambrose Bierce in Atlantis

Mr. Bierce was an Atlantean writer and satirist which Athelstan Helms considered a clear-sighted man. He recited a Bierce quote defining an accident as immutable natural law to enlighten James Walton when their train was stalled by one ahead.[1]

Ambrose Bierce in In High Places

Jacob Klein found Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary a very useful and insightful work, and particularly enjoyed Bierce's biting sense of humor. When his daughter, Annette, was taken into slavery along with Jacques, she found some wisdom in Bierce's cynicism, even bonding with Jacques while sharing Bierce's words (although Jacques, a pious follower of Henri, was leery of anything called The Devil's Wordbook).

References

  1. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 408, HC.

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