"One of the Cornerstones of California Literature"Francis Bret Harte. The Luck of Roaring Camp, and Other Sketches. Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co., 1870.
First edition, without the added short story "Brown of Calaveras." Twelvemo (6.8125 x 4.3125 inches; 173 x 110 mm.). iv, [1, contents], [1, blank], [1, fly-title], [1, blank], 239, [1, blank] pages.
Bound by Bennett of New York (stamp-signed in gilt on the front turn-in) in full burgundy morocco. Covers with gilt triple fillet border, spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, turn-ins ruled in gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Original purple cloth covers and spine bound in at end. Very slight rubbing to joints and spine extremities, a few small areas of slight discoloration on covers. Occasional light foxing or soiling, a few corners lightly creased, tiny hole in pp. 171/172, just touching a couple of letters. A few faint pencil markings. An excellent copy. Housed in a felt-lined red cloth slipcase.
"Bret Harte, with the publication of The Luck of Roaring Camp, created the popular perception of the California Gold Rush. His stories of rambunctious yet gentle forty-niners, slick gamblers, stagecoach drivers, and naughty ladies made the 'Days of old, days of gold, the days of '49' come alive for reading audiences for generations. Gary Scharnhorst, Harte's most current biographer, in assessing his powerful influence wrote: 'More than any other writer, Bret Harte was at the forefront of western American literature, paving the way for writers such as Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, Ina Coolbrith, Prentice Mulford, and Charles Warren Stoddard.' California historian Andrew Rolle, in describing the impact of Harte's short stories wrote, 'He did for the miner what Owen Wister later did for the cowboy'" (Gary Kurutz, in The Volkmann Collection of the Zamorano 80 (Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books, Inc., February 5, 2003, Lot 40).
BAL 7246. Cowan II, p. 267. Graff 1808. Grolier, 100 American, 76. Howell 50, California, 510 ("one of the cornerstones of California literature"). Sabin 30650. Streeter 2925. Wheat, Gold Rush, 91. Zamorano Eighty 40.
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