So why am I so obsessed with Lew Wallace and Ben-Hur? It's a good question! I frequently ask myself that one when I'm writing out a large check for an obscure edition of Ben-Hur which needs a home on my shelf.
By day, I'm an Associate Professor and Rare Books Librarian at Kansas State University, a position I've held since September 1998. K-State is a fantastic university with a rich history, great academic programs, and a kick-ass football team. Manhattan is a great college town set in the Flint Hills of northeast Kansas (yes, Kansas does have hills).
Okay, enough of the sales pitch!
I spent the first 29 years of my life in northern Kentucky. Less than two miles from my home was Bates Battery, one of the many fortifications erected in November 1862 for the continued defenses of Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. I became fascinated with the history of the site and its companions. Lew Wallace was crucial in the defense of Cincinnati in September 1862, when secessionist scum invaded Kentucky and made a move toward Cincinnati. I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis on the defense of Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. Lew Wallace became a personal hero and since 1989, I've been collecting everything I can about him.
So there you have it. Not much of a story, but now you have some idea why this passion/obsession has led me to publish this Web site about a Civil War general who is mostly known today as the author of Ben-Hur.
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