Harte, Francis Brett

Harte, Francis Brett

 

(Bret Harte). Born Aug. 25, 1836, in Albany, New York; died May 5, 1902, in London. American author.

Bret Harte was the son of a school teacher. He was a gold prospector and a journalist. In the California Tales cycle (1857-71) he described the everyday lives and mores of miners in gold-mining towns. In Russia these works were highly regarded by N. G. Chernyshevskii, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and G. I. Uspenskii. In his witty parodies of romantic and sentimental writers (Condensed Novels, 1867), he appeared as an adherent of realism. His heroes are outcasts from bourgeois society and are capable of courageous deeds (“The Luck of Roaring Camp,” 1868, Russian translation, 1895; “How Santa Claus Came to Simpson’s Bar,” 1872; “M’liss,” 1860, Russian translation, 1910). Harte showed the corrupting power of gold in his stories (“A Millionaire of Rough-and-Ready” and “The Man From Solano”) and novels (Gabriel Conroy, 1875-76, and others), spoke out against racism (“The Heathen Chinee,” “Three Vagabonds from Trinidad”), and dealt with historical themes.

WORKS

Complete Works, vols. 1-10. Boston-New York, 1929.
The Letters …. Boston-New York, 1926.
In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1-12. Leningrad, 1928.
Izbr. proizvedeniia. Introduction by I. L. Glikman. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.

REFERENCES

Lidskii, Iu. Pisatel’-realist Bret Gart. Kiev, 1961.
Stewart, G. R. Bret Harte: Argonaut and Exile. Boston-New York, 1931.
O’Connor, R. Bret Harte: A Biography. Boston-Toronto, 1966.
Gaer, J. Bret Harte: Bibliography and Biographical Data. New York [1968].

B. A. GILENSON

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