|| Francis Bret Harte was
born in Albany New York on August 25, 1839. In 1854, his mother,
a widow, moved him to California. In California Harte worked
as a miner, school teacher, express messenger, printer, and
journalist. While in San Francisco writing for The Californian
he worked with Mark Twain, Charles Warren Stoddard, Prentice
Mulford† and† the editor, Henry Webb. He contributed many poems
and prose pieces to the paper. Bret Harte was appointed Secretary
of the United States Branch Mint at San Francisco. He held that
office until 1870.
Harte became the first editor of the Overland Monthly.
"The Luck of Roaring Camp" published in the Overland Monthly
brought him instant and wide fame. He was thereafter requested
to contribute poems and articles to a number of publications.
His stories of the American West were much in demand in the
eastern United States. In 1871 he moved to New York. He later
moved to Boston. Harte continued to write poetry and prose,
and enjoyed wide popularity.
In 1878 Bret Harte was appointed United States Counsul at
Crefeld, Germany.† Harte was transferred to Glasgow, Scotland
in 1880. Thereafter he resided in London.
He died in Camberely, England on May 6, 1902.
Brief Biography of Bret Harte [from the Central California
Poetry Journal with selected poems]
Harte's family settled in New York City and Brooklyn in 1845.
His education was spotty and irregular, but he inherited a
love of books and managed to get some verses published at
age 11. In 1854 he left for California and went into mining
country on a brief trip that legend has expanded into a lengthy
participation in, and intimate knowledge of, camp life. ...
Bret at ENCYCLOP∆DIA BRITANNICA
Note that most sources say he was born in 1936.
About the Writer ...
|| Bret Harte's witty, sometimes
heart-rending tales of frontier California earned him acclaim
during the 1860s as the "new prophet of American letters." Eastern
magazines courted him for submissions, no less a critic than
San Francisco's own Ambrose Bierce called his humor "incomparable,"
and the highlights of Harte's oeuvre--from "The Luck of Roaring
Camp" to "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" and "Mliss"--helped establish
the foundations of western American fiction.
UNKEPT - a chapter in San Francisco, You're History!
By J. Kingston Pierce
BRET HARTE has himself told the story of how while occupied
with his secretarial duties at the San Francisco Mint-and
his literary work religiously carried on outside mint hours-George
Barnes, a brother journalist, introduced him to a young man
whose appearance was decidedly interesting. "His head" he
writes, "was striking. He had the curly hair, the aquiline
nose, and even the aquiline eye-an eye so eagle-like that
a second lid would not have surprised me-of an unusual and
dominant nature. ... Criticisms and
Interpretations By T. Edgar Pemberton
Francis Bret Harte came out to California as Secretary of
the U.S. Branch Mint, and in 1866 published a volume entitled
"Outcroppings of California Verse," which gave much offense,
especially to those whose effusions were not included within
its covers. In 1867 "The Lost Galleon" appeared; in 1869 "The
Heathen Chinee," and in 1870 "The Luck of Roaring camp." After
editing The Overland Monthly for some time, Bret Harte grew
too big for his environment, and left California ...
Literature, By Arthur Inkersley
American Short Story: A Selective Chronology ...
l865 -- The Nation established; Mark Twain's "The Celebrated
Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" published in the New York
Saturday Press; published with other stories in l867
l868 -- Bret Harte's "The Luck of Roaring Camp" appears in
the August Overland Monthly.
l869 -- Harte's "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" appears in January
Overland Monthly, after which Harte moves to Boston to
be a contributing editor for Atlantic Monthly; his stories are
collected in Sandy Bar, & Co. (l873).
1871 signed with The Atlantic Monthly for $10,000 for
12 stories a year, the highest figure offered an American writer
up to that time. [britannica.com]
1878 - appointed as United States consul in Germany [schoolnet.co.uk/USAharte.htm]
1885 - retired to London
1902: dies from throat cancer in London [more Chronology]
- The life of Bret Harte, by T. Edgar Pemberton [London,
C.A. Pearson, 1903] The book was written about the time that Bret
died in 1902 and almost finished when he died. Harte worked along
with Pemberton on it.
- The letters of Bret Harte, assembled and edited by Geoffrey
Bret Harte. Boston and NY, Houghton Mifflin company, 1926
- Bret Harte's Gold Rush : Outcasts of Poker Flat, the Luck
of Roaring Camp, Tennessee's Partner, & Other Favorites, by
Bret Harte [amazon].
- Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter
5: Late Nineteenth Century - Bret Harte." PAL: Perspectives
in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide
SAC LitWeb Bret Harte Page.
- Bret Harte
[filmography at The Internet Movie Database]
Harte, 1836-1902 By Victoria Henderson Student, University
of North Carolina at Pembroke - good bio, chronology, homes,
Poetry of Bret Harte [Central California Poetry Journal]
HARTE: Popularity, Poetry and Performance (Anxiety)
- Bret Harte
(1836-1902) By Dr. Renard Doneskey - bio, themes, and study
guide for American Literature, 1860-present
See also: LitLinks,
Authors on the Web and American
Writers and Their Works 19th Century 1801-1850