Bret Harte (HART; born Francis Brett Hart; August 25, 1836 – May 5, 1902) was an American short story writer and poet, best remembered for short fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush. In a career spanning more than four decades, he also wrote poetry, plays, lectures, book reviews, editorials and magazine sketches. As he moved from California to the eastern U.S. and later to Europe, he incorporated new subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been those most often reprinted, adapted and admired.
Bret Harte (HART; born Francis Brett Hart; August 25, 1836 – May 5, 1902) was an American hasty story writer and poet, best remembered for sudden fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush. In a career spanning on zenith of four decades, he plus wrote poetry, plays, lectures, book reviews, editorials and magazine sketches. As he moved from California to the eastern U.S. and innovative to Europe, he incorporated other subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been those most often reprinted, adapted and admired.
Harte was born in 1836 in New York’s capital city of Albany. He was named after his great-grandfather, Francis Brett. When he was young, his father, Henry, changed the spelling of the associates name from Hart to Harte. Henry’s dad was Bernard Hart, an Orthodox Jewish immigrant who flourished as a merchant, becoming one of the founders of the New York Stock Exchange. Later, Francis preferred to be known by his center name, but he spelled it once only one “t”, becoming Bret Harte. Harte was of French Huguenot and Dutch ancestry and descends from prominent New York landowner Francis Rombouts.
An materialistic reader as a boy, Harte published his first operate at age 11, a satirical poem titled “Autumn Musings”, now lost. Rather than attracting praise, the poem garnered ridicule from his family. As an adult, he recalled to a friend, “Such a astonishment was their ridicule to me that I surprise that I ever wrote choice line of verse”. His formal schooling ended subsequent to he was 13, in 1849.
Harte moved to California in 1853, later in force there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent ration of his excitement in the northern California coastal town of Union (now Arcata), a settlement upon Humboldt Bay that was received as a provisioning middle for mining camps in the interior.
The Wells Fargo Messenger of July 1916, relates that, after an unsuccessful try to make a lively in the gold camps, Harte signed upon as a messenger next Wells Fargo & Co. Express. He guarded cherish boxes upon stagecoaches for a few months, then gave it in the works to become the schoolmaster at a school close the town of Sonora, in the Sierra foothills. He created his setting Yuba Bill from his memory of an antiquated stagecoach driver.
Among Harte’s first studious efforts, a poem was published in The Golden Era in 1857, and, in October of that same year, his first prose fragment on “A Trip Up the Coast”. He was hired as editor of The Golden Era in the spring of 1860, which he attempted to make into a more school publication. Mark Twain vanguard recalled that, as an editor, Harte struck “a new and spacious and spirited note” which “rose above that orchestra’s mumbling confusion and was recognizable as music”. Among his writings were parodies and satires of supplementary writers, including The Stolen Cigar-Case featuring ace detective “Hemlock Jones”, which Ellery Queen praised as “probably the best parody of Sherlock Holmes ever written”.
The 1860 massacre of amongst 80 and 200 Wiyot Indians at the village of Tuluwat (near Eureka in Humboldt County, California) was reported by Harte in San Francisco and New York. While serving as accomplice editor of the Northern Californian, Harte was left in war of the paper during the temporary absence of his boss, Stephen G. Whipple. Harte published a detailed account condemning the slayings, writing: “a more shocking and revolting spectacle never was exhibited to the eyes of a Christian and civilized people. Old women wrinkled and decrepit lay weltering in blood, their brains dashed out and dabbled when their long grey hair. Infants scarcely a span long, with their faces cloven afterward hatchets and their bodies ghastly subsequent to wounds.”
After he published the editorial, Harte’s vibrancy was threatened, and he was provoked to run away one month later. Harte quit his job and moved to San Francisco, where an anonymous letter published in a city paper is attributed to him, describing widespread community applause of the massacre. In addition, no one was ever brought to trial, despite the evidence of a planned assault and of references to specific individuals, including a rancher named Larabee and new members of the unofficial militia called the Humboldt Volunteers.
Harte married Anna Griswold on August 11, 1862, in San Rafael, California. From the start, the marriage was rocky. Some suggested that she was handicapped by extreme jealousy, while in the future Harte biographer Henry C. Merwin privately concluded that she was “almost impossible to live with”.
The Famous minister Thomas Starr King recommended Harte to James T. Fields, editor of the prestigious magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, which published Harte’s first curt story in October 1863. In 1864, Harte allied with Charles Henry Webb in starting a new theoretical journal called The Californian. He became contacts with and mentored poet Ina Coolbrith.
In 1865, Harte was asked by bookseller Anton Roman to edit a record of California poetry; it was to be a showcase of the finest California writers. When the book, called Outcroppings, was published, it contained isolated 19 poets, many of them Harte’s friends (including Ina Coolbrith and Charles Warren Stoddard). The cassette caused some controversy, as Harte used the preface as a vehicle to offensive California’s literature, blaming the state’s “monotonous climate” for its bad poetry. While the photo album was widely praised in the East, many newspapers and poets in the West took umbrage at his remarks.
In 1868, Harte became editor of The Overland Monthly, another new hypothetical magazine, published by Roman Anton in the tune of the direct of highlighting local writings. The Overland Monthly was more in tune next the pioneering energy of to-do in California. Harte’s unexpected story “The Luck of Roaring Camp” appeared in the magazine’s second issue, propelling him to nationwide fame.
When word of Charles Dickens’s death reached Harte in July 1870, he sharply sent a adopt across the bay to San Francisco to withhold back the forthcoming event of the Overland Monthly for 24 hours therefore that he could compose the poetic tribute, “Dickens in Camp”.
Harte’s fame increased taking into consideration the revelation of his satirical poem “Plain Language from Truthful James” in the September 1870 event of the Overland Monthly. The poem became augmented known by its alternate title, “The Heathen Chinee”, after beast republished in a Boston newspaper in 1871. It was also speedily republished in a number of new newspapers and journals, including the New York Evening Post, the New York Tribune, the Boston Evening Transcript, the Providence Journal, the Hartford Courant, Prairie Farmer, and the Saturday Evening Post. Harte was chagrined, however, to locate that the popularity of the poem, which he had written to criticize the prevalence of anti-Chinese sentiment accompanied by the white population of California, was largely the consequences of its monster taken literally by the utterly people he had lampooned, who unconditionally misconstrued the ironic intent of Harte’s words.
He was sure to pursue his university career and traveled support East afterward his family in 1871 to New York and eventually to Boston, where he contracted gone the publisher of The Atlantic Monthly for an annual salary of $10,000, “an unprecedented total at the time”. His popularity waned, however, and by the decline of 1872, he was without a publishing harmony and increasingly desperate. He spent the bordering few years struggling to pronounce new deed or republish old, and delivering lectures roughly the gold rush. The winter of 1877–1878 was particularly hard for Harte and his family. He forward-thinking recalled it as a “hand-to-mouth life” and wrote to his wife Anna, “I don’t know—looking back—what ever kept me from going down, in every way, during that horrible December and January”.
After months of soliciting for such a role, Harte trendy the slope of United States Consul in the town of Krefeld, Germany, in May 1878. Mark Twain had been a buddy and aficionada of Harte’s until a substantial falling out, and he had since tried to block any succession for Harte. In a letter to William Dean Howells, he complained that Harte would be an embarrassment to the United States because, as he wrote, “Harte is a liar, a thief, a swindler, a snob, a sot, a sponge, a coward, a Jeremy Diddler, he is brim full of treachery… To send this nasty swine to puke upon the American say in a foreign house is too much”. Eventually, Harte was perfect a similar role in Glasgow in 1880. In 1885, he established in London. Throughout his become old in Europe, he regularly wrote to his wife and kids and sent monthly financial contributions. He declined, however, to invite them to associate him, nor did he compensation to the United States to visit them. His excuses were usually linked to money. During the 24 years that he spent in Europe, he never lonesome writing, and maintained a prodigious output of stories that retained the freshness of his earlier work.
He died in Camberley, England, in 1902 of throat cancer, and is buried at Frimley. His wife Anna (née Griswold) Harte died on August 2, 1920. The couple lived together deserted 16 of the 40 years that they were married.