You may remember him as a general for the Union Army, or as the appointed governor for New Mexico Territory, or even as the man that carried on some correspondence with Billy The Kid. However, he was a little more to him than that!
At some point, he managed to have enough spare time to write a couple of books and a play. Did he write anything worth reading? Well, I'll let you decide after reading this article from Listverse!
Lew Wallace Was A Bestselling Novelist
Lew Wallace is best remembered by history buffs as a prominent Union general during the American Civil War. He was a lawyer before the war and afterwards he became a politician, eventually becoming the governor of the New Mexico Territory, a position granted to him by President Rutherford B. Hayes. It is at this time that one of the more unique events of his life took place—his correspondence with renowned outlaw William H. Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid. Wallace promised Bonney that he would receive a full pardon if he testified against others involved in the Lincoln County War (a promise Wallace was not able to keep).
Life in peacetime provided Lew Wallace with plenty of free time and he decided to spend some of that time writing. He first wrote a novel and a play which did not garner any significant attention, but his second novel did. It was called Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and it became the most successful novel of the 19th century. It remained the best-selling book after the Bible until 1936, when Gone with the Wind came out. To this day it has never been out of print.
I would never have thought that ol' Wallace had it in him to write the book. He must have had a lot more spare time than I figured. He did a good job, I'd say!
Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?