- Paperback : 222 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8560428754
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Notoir Books (November 7, 2020)
- Language: : English
Meet Ralph Keeler: “The Lost Prince of American Bohemians”…
You are about to read Ralph Keeler’s memoir of his life as a minstrel player, low-life and hobo along the Mississippi and throughout the U.S. and Europe in the 1840s and 1850s.
He wrote the Vagabond Adventures which he had lived. He had been, as he claimed, “a cruel uncle’s ward” in his early orphan-hood, and as an 11-year old runaway, he wanted to work in a troupe of negro minstrels. It was first his fate to be cabin-boy on various Great Lake steamers. He started to perfect himself in playing the banjo and in clogdancing so that he might join a minstrel troupe.
When he finally found a minstrel company willing to accept him he became a leading attraction as a child phenomenon, dancing, and playing female parts.
With this, he eventually became so disappointed, that he entered the college of the Jesuit Fathers at Cape Girardeau in Missouri.
Then, leaving that life behind to pursue an education, he made his way to Europe where he enrolled as a student at Heidelberg University.
Ralph Keeler is one of the great mysteries in American literature, as in: how come that his books sank away into obscurity?
Keeler died under vague circumstances. It is said that he was thrown off the boat on his way from the US to Cuba. He was a ‘man of opinions’. One can imagine that he drank one ‘Cuba Libre’ too many and became a little bit too sassy and smart. He probably rubbed some people the wrong way there. But that last part is pure speculation.
At least we have the Vagabond Adventures.