Inventor of California as a literary subject, Bret Harte made pioneering contributions to the development of the short-story form in America, and inspired countless imitators. `The Luck of the Roaring Camp', a story set in a Californian gold-mining community, thrilled the public when it was published in 1868, and Bret Harte's reputation was - briefly - made. By 1878 he had left America for good. This departure and his vexed friendship with Mark Twain made him the subject of intensely negative speculation, so that his name is now generally associated with diminutives: sentimentality, local colour, the short story. But his remarkable control of reader response, his treatment of repressed passion and male anxieties, and his sympathies for marginal members of frontier society influenced writers as diverse as Mary Austin and Ernest Hemingway. Harte's work deserves a thorough re-evaluation, and this edition includes his best work. It contains the complete text of The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches , as well as some powerful late stories, and two autobiographical sketches that have long been out of print.
This book is intended for students of American literature from A-level upwards.