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In 1870, the young San Francisco based writer and editor Bret Harte (1836 1902) first compiled a single-volume edition of his rousing stories of life in the Wild West. Entitled The Luck of Roaring Camp, and Other Sketches, the book propelled him almost overnight from local celebrity to American literary lion. Four of the most famous of those tales are included in this collection: the title story, The Outcasts of Poker Flat, Tennessee's Partner, and M'liss. Additional selections include A Protegee of Jack Hamlin and An Ingenue of the Sierras, both written later in Harte's life and featuring lively casts of colorful characters in settings ranging from a stagecoach to a Sacramento River steamer. They display the author's enthralling storytelling style at full strength crisply observant, rich in ironic humor, and offering an engaging mix of sentiment and wit. Harte's style exercised a deep influence on the American short story genre and set a future course for writers of Western fiction, including Owen Wisterand Zane Grey.
American journalist and author Bret Harte (1836 1902) is best known for his short stories, particularly those set during the days of the California Gold Rush.