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Episodes Before Thirty

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By: (1869-1951)

Blackwood wrote this autobiography in his fifties, describing his first thirty years as an almost penniless British adventurer in Canada and New York, trying his hand at all sorts of investments, getting swindled again and again, sleeping on park benches, living in the woods, and sharing a one room tenement with friends who betrayed him and others who helped him through sickness and injury, reporting on aberrant personalities he met, their strange circumstances, and witnessing the criminal workings of Tammany Hall during his stint as a reporter for the Sun. His sanity was saved by his love of nature and writing as a therapeutic pastime, until he finally returned to England, where he began submitting his stories and made a name for himself as "one of the most prolific ghost story writers in the history of the genre" . This is a fascinating and precarious "coming of age" story. - Summary by Michele Fry

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