DescriptionBret Harte. Manuscript for "Por El Rey." [No place: circa late-1800s]. Original autograph manuscript, likely a fair copy but with corrections, signed by Harte. 6 x 8 inches. Thirteen pages, written in purple ink on the rectos only. Bound by Riviere and Son in crushed green leather with gilt turn-ins and gilt titles on the spine and front board. Hand-lettered title page and portrait frontispiece of the author. Estelle Doheny's oval leather bookplate affixed to the front pastedown. Mild wear to the leather along the spine and at the corners, with a small abrasion near the top corner. Minor offsetting to the endpapers from the turn-ins. Two horizontal mailing folds to the manuscript pages, and mild toning to the verso of the last page. Overall, this unique Bret Harte poem is in very fine condition.
"The 177-line poem is probably a fair copy, although Harte has changed 'three hundred' to 'two hundred' on pages 3 and 10. The poem recounts a tale of love between a young bride and the King's Viceroy of Monterey, who is invited to enjoy the droit de Seigneur 'por el Rey.'" (Christie's, The Estelle Doheny Collection, Part III, Lot 721, p. 226).
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