In March 1872, Bierce resigned his position at the News-Letter in order that he and Mary might enjoy an extended honeymoon in England. Once in London, Bierce began to submit his writing to a number of English journals. He placed pieces with Fun, Figaro, and the London Sketch-Book. For Figaro, he authored a regular column entitled "The Passing Showman."

The first child of Ambrose and Mary, a boy named Day, was born in 1872. Not long into their stay in England, the Bierces moved to Bristol -- in part because the damp and fog of London had exacerbated Bierce's asthma, a health condition that plagued him his entire life.


While in England, Bierce published his first books: The Fiend's Delight and Nuggets and Dust in 1873, and Cobwebs From an Empty Skull in 1874. These works contain various short pieces, sketches, and anecdotes culled from Bierce's publications in both California and England.

During his time in England, Bierce continued to develop his powers as a satirist. The new environment helped to broaden his understanding of human society, and he became even more critical of mankind's pretenses, hypocrisies, and immoral legal and political institutions.

A second son, Leigh, arrived in 1874. The Bierces ended the tour abroad in the fall of 1875, returning to San Francisco.