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The Life of Bret Harte With Some Account of the California Pioneers   By:

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THE LIFE OF BRET HARTE

[Illustration: Bret Harte]

The Gale Library of Lives and Letters American Writers Series

THE LIFE OF BRET HARTE

WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THE CALIFORNIA PIONEERS

BY HENRY CHILDS MERWIN

WITH PORTRAITS AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1911

REPUBLISHED BY GALE RESEARCH COMPANY, BOOK TOWER, DETROIT, 1967

COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY HENRY CHILDS MERWIN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published September 1911

Library of Congress Card Number: 67 23887

TO Anne Amory Merwin THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED

PREFACE

It is a pleasure for the Author of this book to record his indebtedness to others in preparing it. Mrs. T. Edgar Pemberton, and Messrs. C. Arthur Pearson, Limited, the publishers of Pemberton's Life of Bret Harte, have kindly consented to the quotation from that interesting book of several letters by Mr. Harte that throw much light upon his character. Similar permission was given by Mr. Howells and his publishers, the Messrs. Harper and Brothers, to make use of Mr. Howells' account of Bret Harte's visit to him at Cambridge; and of this permission the Author has availed himself with a freedom which the Reader at least will not regret.

Professor Raymond Weeks, President of the American Dialect Society, Professor C. Alphonso Smith, Mr. Albert Matthews, and others whose names are mentioned on page 326, have lent their aid in regard to the Pioneer language, and Ernest Knaufft, Bret Harte's nephew, has not only furnished the Author with some information about his uncle's early life, but he has also read the proofs, and has made more than one valuable suggestion which the Author was glad to adopt. It is only fair to add that Mr. Knaufft does not in all respects agree with the Author's estimate of Bret Harte's character. Another critic, Prescott Hartford Belknap, has put his fine literary taste at the service of the book, and has saved its writer from some mistakes which he now shudders to contemplate.

Most of all, however, the Author is indebted to his accomplished friend, Edwin Munroe Bacon, who, though much engaged with important literary work of his own, has read the book twice, once in MS. and once in print, a signal, not to say painful proof of friendship which the Author acknowledges with gratitude, and almost with shame.

H. C. M.

CONTENTS

I. BRET HARTE'S ANCESTRY 1

II. BRET HARTE'S BOYHOOD 13

III. BRET HARTE'S WANDERINGS IN CALIFORNIA 18

IV. BRET HARTE IN SAN FRANCISCO 32

V. THE PIONEER MEN AND WOMEN 53

VI. PIONEER LIFE 85

VII. PIONEER LAW AND LAWLESSNESS 120

VIII. WOMEN AND CHILDREN AMONG THE PIONEERS 140

IX. FRIENDSHIP AMONG THE PIONEERS 157

X. GAMBLING IN PIONEER TIMES 168

XI. OTHER FORMS OF BUSINESS 181

XII. LITERATURE, JOURNALISM AND RELIGION 192

XIII. BRET HARTE'S DEPARTURE FROM CALIFORNIA 214

XIV. BRET HARTE IN THE EAST 220

XV. BRET HARTE AT CREFELD 251

XVI. BRET HARTE AT GLASGOW 266

XVII. BRET HARTE IN LONDON 274

XVIII. BRET HARTE AS A WRITER OF FICTION 293

XIX. BRET HARTE AS A POET 308

XX. BRET HARTE'S PIONEER DIALECT 321

XXI. BRET HARTE'S STYLE 330

INDEX 347

ILLUSTRATIONS

BRET HARTE (PHOTOGRAVURE) Frontispiece. From a photograph by Hollyer taken in 1896.

BERNARD HART, BRET HARTE'S GRANDFATHER 6 From a painting in the possession of Messrs. Arthur Lipper & Co., New York.

SAN FRANCISCO, NOVEMBER, 1844 24 After a sketch by J... Continue reading book >>




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