Bret Harte (1836-1902) was born in New York but moved to California at a young age, following the death of his father and his mother's remarriage. He is best known for his short stories of the West, but he spent many years as a typesetter, school teacher, editor, and journalist, working for such well known publications as the "Overland Monthly" in San Francisco and "The Atlantic Monthly". As a child he was an avid reader, and took a strong liking to Charles Dickens. Many of Harte's stories and characters later served as models for thousands of Western novels and films. This collection contains the most popular stories of Bret Harte, such as "The Luck of Roaring Camp," "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," "M'liss," and "An Ingénue of the Sierras." The title story of this book was almost not published because it contained a prostitute character and some profanity, however Harte was adamant in its publication, and as a result, he played a significant part in further realism in American literature.
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