Bret Harte


Francis Bret Harte (1837 – 1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.

Born in Albany, New York, he moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part of his life in the northern California coast town now known as Arcata, then just a mining camp on Humboldt Bay.

His first literary efforts, including poetry and prose, appeared in The Californian, an early literary journal.  In 1868 he became editor of The Overland Monthly, another new literary magazine, but this one more in tune with the pioneering spirit of excitement in California. His story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp," appeared in the magazine's second edition, propelling Harte to nationwide fame.

 In 1878 Harte was appointed to the position of United States Consul in the town of Krefeld, Germany and then to Glasgow in 1880. In 1885 he settled in London. During the thirty years he spent in Europe, he never abandoned writing, and maintained a prodigious output of stories that retained the freshness of his earlier work. He died in England in 1902 of throat cancer and is buried at Frimley.

In 1987 he appeared on a $5 U.S. Postage stamp, as part of the "Great Americans" Series of issues

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From LibriVox:

1.  Selected Stories: 
  • 00 Intro
  • o1 The Luck of the Roaring Camp
  • 02 The Outcast of Poker Flat
  • 03 Miggles
  • 04 Tennessee's Partner
  • 05 The Idyle of Red Gulch
  • 06 Brown of Calavares
  • 07 High Water Mark
  • 08 A Lonly Ride
  • 09 The Man of No Account
  • 10 Mliss
  • 11 The Right Eye of the Commander
  • 12 Notes by Flood and Field
  • 13 An Episode of Fiddletown
  • 14 Barker's Luck
  • 15 A Yellow Dog
  • 16 A Mother of Five
  • 17 Bulger's Reputation
  • 18 In the Tules
  • 19 A Convert of the Mission
  • 20 The Indiscretion of Elsbeth
  • 21 The Devotion of Enriquez
2.  Chrismas Gift That Came to Rupert  (4th story in "Christmas Short Works Collection, 2006)

3.  A Ghost in the Sierras  (3rd story in Short Ghost Stories 006)

4.  Melons  (14th Short Story Collection # 040)

5.  Californian Verse  (19th story in My First Book)

6.  The Fool of Five Forks (11th story in 5th Anniversary Collection  2)

7.  A Mother of Five (12th story in 5th Anniversary Collection 2)

8.  The Rose of Tuolumne  (10th story in Short Story Collection # 47)

9.  The Ogress of the Silver Land by Bret Harte  (13th story from Short Story Collection # 48)
10. Santa Claus at Simpson's Bar  (23rd story in Xmas Short Works - 2011)

11.  The Queen of the Pirate Isle  (3rd story from Short Works - Vol 16)

12.  The Luck of the Roaring Camp and Other Sketches - Most of the stories in this audio are the same as the audio in # 01 (see above).  The only new stories here are:
13 - Mission Dolores
14 - John Chinaman
15 - From a Back Window
16 - Boonder
13.  Colonel Starbottle For The Plaintiff (1901) Part 1 by Bret Harte (13th Story in Humorous Stories)

14.  Colonel Starbottle For The Plaintiff (1901) Part 2 by Bret Harte (14th Story in Humorous Stories)

15.  Mrs Skaggs Husbands and Other Stories - A collection of short stories set in the American West (California) mining communities in the mid-19th century. 

16a. Uncle Jim and Uncle Billy Part 1 by Bret Harte (8th story in International Short Stories # 1)

16b. Uncle Jim and Uncle Billy Part 2 by Bret Harte (9th story in International Short Stories # 1)