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Bret Harte

Francis Bret Harte (1839-1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. Born in Albany, New York, he moved to California in 1854, later working there in a number of positions, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist.

His first literary efforts, including poetry and prose, appeared in The Californian, an early literary journal edited by Charles Henry Webb. In 1868 he became editor of The Overland Monthly, another new literary magazine, but this one more in tune with the pioneering spirit of excitement in California. His story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp," appeared in the magazine's second edition, propelling Harte to nationwide fame. Determined to pursue his literary career, he traveled back East, to New York and eventually to Boston, where he continued writing poems, sketches, and stories capturing the excitement of his earlier years in California.

As an established literary figure, he was appointed to the position of United States Consul in the town of Krefeld, Germany in 1878 and Glasgow in 1880. In 1885 he settled in London. During the thirty years he spent in Europe, he never abandoned writing, and produced a prodigious output of stories that still maintained the freshness of his earlier work. He died in England in 1902.

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