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Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In 1974 Alan Maitland joined CBC Radio's As It Happens as co-host, and during that time he became known affectionately as Fireside Al and Front Porch Al, tempting listeners to pull up a chair to the fire or on the porch (depending on the season) and listen. He read stories by a long list of authors, and they were a delight for audiences, whether the story was a humorous or a poignant one. His reading of The Shepherd, by Frederick Forsythe, has become a Christmas Eve tradition on As It Happens.

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Alan Maitland, as Front Porch Al, reads the story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce.  It is a tale of the U.S. Civil War, and when we meet Peyton Farquhar, a civilian citizen of the Confederacy, he is about to meet his fate at the hands of Union soldiers.

• Ambrose Bierce was born June 24, 1842, in Ohio. He went to Mexico in 1913, and it is not known what exactly became of him.  He is presumed to have died in January, 1914, during a battle in the revolution led by Pancho Villa.

• Bierce himself fought for the Union during the Civil War.  He enlisted in 1861, was wounded in battle in 1864, and was eventually promoted to major in 1867. 

• Bierce worked as a columnist and editor at several publications, in England and in the U.S., and published several books, including In the Midst of Life, in 1892.  It contained An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, among other stories.

Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: Sept. 21, 1990
Narrator: Alan Maitland
Duration: 21:50

Last updated: July 22, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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