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Edward Everett Hale (1822 – 1909) was an American author, historian and Unitarian clergyman. Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed the short story "My Double and How He Undid Me" to the Atlantic Monthly. He soon published other stories in the same periodical. His best known work was "The Man Without a Country", published in the Atlantic in 1863 and intended to strengthen support in the Civil War for the Union cause in the North. Though the story is set in the early 19th century, it is an allegory about the upheaval of the American Civil War. As in some of his other non-romantic tales, he employed a minute realism which led his readers to suppose the narrative a record of fact. These two stories and such others as "The Skeleton in the Closet", gave him a prominent position among short-story writers of 19th century America. Each story in this collection has an introduction. (Summary by Wikipedia and David Wales)