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Although Bret Harte was an American author who portrayed reckless characters including gamblers miners and prostitutes he became famous for his colorful stories about the West along with short stories and poetry he is best known for pieces describing the gold rush in the time of the 1800s The Harte family made many moves to settle in New York City and Brooklyn in 1845 Because of the unsteady home Bret Hartes education was spotty and irregular but he took a love and passion for books and managed to get some verses published at the young age of 11 Nine years later he moved to California and went into mining In 1857 the Northern Californian a weekly paper employed him There his support of Indians and Mexicans proved unpopular after a massacre of Indians in 1860 which he criticized in his work he found it to his benefit to leave town He returned to San Francisco married and began to write for the Golden Era which published the first of his Condensed Novels brilliant parodies of James Fenimore Cooper Charles Dickens Victor Hugo and others He then became a clerk in the US branch mint a job that allowed freedom for editorship of the Californian for which he engaged Mark Twain to write weekly articles In 1868 after publishing a series of Spanish legends similar to Washington Irvings Alhambra he was named editor of the Overland Monthly For it he wrote The Luck of Roaring Camp and The Outcasts of Poker Flat Following The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches 1870 he found himself world famous He furthered his reputation with Plain Language from Truthful James 1870 better known as The Heathen Chinee a poem that attracted national attention On it he based his best play Ah Sin 1877 a collaboration with Twain Flushed with success Harte in 1871 signed with The Atlantic Monthly for 10000 for 12 stories a year the
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