Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Harte, Bret
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(Francis Brett Harte)(härt), 1836–1902, American writer of short stories and humorous verse, b. Albany, N.Y. At 19 he went to California, where he tried his hand at teaching, clerking, and mining. In 1868 he helped establish the Overland Monthly, where his short stories and verse first appeared. He gained enormous success with the publication of “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” the first of his picturesque stories of Western local color, and with such later stories as “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” and “Brown of Calaveras.” Although Harte did not develop character and motivation, he had an observant eye and a brisk reportorial style. He was U.S. consul in Germany and Scotland from 1878 to 1885. The remainder of his life was spent near London.

  • See his letters, ed. by G. B. Harte (1926);.
  • biographies by R. O'Connor (1966) and A. Nissen (2000);.
  • Duckett, M. , Mark Twain and Bret Harte (1964).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article Harte, Bret [Francis or Frank]
Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature

We are likely today to think of H. as a short story writer who demonstrated the worst aspects of Victorian sentimentality...

Full text Article Harte, Bret (b. Aug. 25, 1836; d. May 6, 1902)
Encyclopedia of New Jersey

Writer. The son of Henry and Elizabeth Ostrander Harte, Francis Brett Harte grew up in New York and moved to California in 1854. As Bret Harte,...

Full text Article Harte, (Francis) Bret [Brett] (1836 - 1902)
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

Born in Albany, New York, he went to California at the age of 18, working as a prospector, a teacher, a Wells Fargo...

See more from Credo