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Bret Harte - Selected Stories

By Bret Harte

About This Book

THERE WAS commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement. The ditches and claims were not only deserted, but "Tuttle's grocery" had contributed its gamblers, who, it will be remembered, calmly continued their game the day that French Pete and Kanaka Joe shot each other to death over the bar in the front room. The whole camp was collected before a rude cabin on the outer edge . . .

About Bret Harte

         Francis Bret Harte virtually invented the style of short story that made him famous. The mannerisms and pungent speech of his characters, and the clever, often tricky endings of his stories helped to make him a rich and famous author in his day. Born in Albany, New York in 1836, he spent his young manhood in California. Although his actual contact with the gold camps was very brief, his journalist's imagination mined them for stories during most of his life. He edited several popular magazines (at one point he hired a young Mark Twain as a writer), and he was also a novelist and a poet. But his reputation rests on the quality and humor of his short stories — at one point his contributions to the prestigious Atlantic Monthly commanded the then-highest sum ever paid for such work.
         Later, because of family and financial difficulties, Harte accepted a consulor post in Germany and later in Ireland. In 1885 he retired to London, where he continued to write, and where he died in 1902.


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