By Gary Scharnhorst
Bret Harte was once the best-known and highest-paid author in the US within the early 1870s, but his vexed makes an attempt to generate profits by means of his pen resulted in the failure of his marriage and, in 1878, his departure for Europe. Gary Scharnhorst’s biography of Harte lines the growing to be advertisement allure of western fiction and drama on each side of the Atlantic in the course of the Gilded Age, a improvement within which Harte performed a very important role.
Harte’s pioneering use of California neighborhood colour in such tales as "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" challenged genteel assumptions approximately western writing and helped open japanese papers to contributions through Mark Twain and others. the recognition of Bret Harte’s writings used to be pushed principally by means of a literary industry that his western tales helped create.
The first Harte biography in approximately seventy years to be written fullyyt from fundamental resources, this booklet files Harte’s own relationships and, moreover, his negotiations with a number of publishers, brokers, and theatrical manufacturers as he exploited well known curiosity within the American West.
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Additional resources for Bret Harte: Opening the American Literary West (Oklahoma Western Biographies)
Harte’s early biographer, Henry C. ” Bret and Anna’s grandson Geoffrey Bret Harte, in a family memoir written in 1941, allowed that “my grandparents had little in Image Not Available Bret Harte, probably about the time of his marriage in August 1862. (Reader 10 [July 1907], 126) “i am fit for nothing else” 23 common. In the final analysis, what my grandfather most wanted was peace in the home and this I believe he never got. ” Certainly the union was riven by unusual strains and pressures. For one thing, Anna Harte was nearly as reckless a spendthrift as her husband.
The problem, Harte explained later in another context, was “the old trouble of inadequate supply and demand. We have in fact more writers than readers; more contributors than subscribers” to western magazines. Not surprisingly, the Californian limped along for only two more years under its new management before finally suspending publication. Under these circumstances, the hostile reception accorded Outcroppings, a collection of California verse Harte compiled for sale during the Christmas season in 1865, is not surprising.
Clemens joked that, apart from this failure to insert “a single line of his own poetry,” Harte had exhibited “rare good taste and ability” in compiling the volume. They had, in fact, become fast friends after Clemens (a la Harte from Humboldt) beat a hasty retreat from Virginia City in May 1864, settled in San Francisco, and became a beat reporter for the San Francisco Morning Call. Despite the famous feud that later destroyed their friendship, Harte and Clemens shared “i am fit for nothing else” 29 many traits, including spendthrift ways and overweening ambition.
Bret Harte: Opening the American Literary West (Oklahoma Western Biographies) by Gary Scharnhorst