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In October 1895, a version, which was 5,000 words shorter than the original manuscript, was printed in book form by D. This version of the novel differed greatly from Crane's original manuscript; the deletions were thought by some scholars to be due to demands by an Appleton employee who was afraid of public disapproval of the novel's content.Parts of the original manuscript removed from the 1895 version include all of the twelfth chapter, as well as the endings to chapters seven, ten and fifteen.
This version of the story, which was culled to 18,000 words by an editor specifically for the serialization, was reprinted in newspapers across America, establishing Crane's fame.Crane's contract with Appleton allowed him to receive a flat ten percent royalty of all copies sold. Norton & Company published a version of the novel based on Crane's original 1894 manuscript of 55,000 words.However, the contract also stipulated that he was not to receive royalties from the books sold in Great Britain, where they were released by Heinemann in early 1896 as part of its Pioneer Series. Edited by Henry Binder, this version is questioned by those who believe Crane made the original edits for the 1895 Appleton edition on his own accord.A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1983.The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone.Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle first-hand, the novel is known for its realism and naturalism.He began writing what would become his second novel in 1894, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine) as inspiration.If he changed something, he would rewrite the whole page.The title of Crane's original, 55,000-word manuscript was "Private Fleming/His various battles", but in order to create the sense of a less traditional Civil War narrative, he ultimately changed the title to The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature.The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim, what H. Wells called "an orgy of praise", shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four.