Introduction: Cultural and Historical Background
“It is inevitable that you be greatly shocked by this book but continue, please with all possible courage to the end. For it tries to show that environment is a tremendous thing in the world and frequently shapes lives regardless. If one proves that theory, one makes room in Heaven for all sorts of souls (notably an occasional street girl) who are not confidently expected to be there by many excellent people. It is probable that the reader of this small thing may consider The Author to be a bad man, but obviously, this is a matter of small consequence to The Author.” So Stephen Crane inscribed copies of the privately printed first edition of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (A Story of New York) which he gave to Hamlin Garland, the Reverend Thomas Dixon, and other friends, reformers, and literary critics.
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