Reviews were generally positive and a respectable amount of volumes were sold, but it did not become a bestseller until an edition was published in England. By 1896 the novel had gone through nine editions and Crane himself realized he was no longer "a black sheep but a star." A reviewer in the New York Press wrote "one should be forever slow in charging an author with genius, but it must be confessed that The Red Badge of Courage is open to the suspicion of having greater power and originality that can be girdled by the name of talent." Joseph Conrad, the famous author of Heart of Darkness (1899), wrote that Crane had written "a spontaneous piece of work which seems to spurt and flow like a tapped stream from the depths of the writer's being." Some critics, including the writer Ambrose Bierce, attacked the novel for, among other things, being too imaginative, depicting soldiers poorly, and lacking in a coherent plot and grammatical/syntactical purity.
Follow the trials and tribulations of Henry Fleming, a recruit in the American Civil War in this impressionistic novel by American writer Stephen Crane . Considered one of the most influential war stories every written, The Red Badge of Courage was published in 1895, a full thirty years after the American Civil War had ended. Although Stephen Crane was born after the war and never participated in battle himself, he was highly praised by the Civil War veterans for having capture a realistic impression of their actual battlefield experiences and emotions.