The Writings of Bret Harte.
Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896. 19 volume complete set, 8 1/4 inches tall. A splendid earthy terracotta morocco binding, somehow fitting for the tales of Harte, with gilt raised bands, handsomely framed gilt floral centre tools and gilt top edges. Bookplates and owner's name in ink on the half-titles. 'The Standard Library Edition'. Illustrated throughout. The bindings are in fine condition with the occasional mark but absolutely no signs of wear, splitting or loss. Bret Harte was a greatly admired and popular American short story writer and poet, famed for his description of miners, gamblers and other romantic characters of the Californian Gold Rush. While a reporter he covered the 1860 massacre of around 200 Wiyot Indians in California, condemning the slayings, "A more shocking and revolting spectacle never was exhibited to the eyes of a Christian and civilized people. Old women wrinkled and decrepit lay weltering in blood, their brains dashed out and dabbled with their long gray hair. Infants scarce a span long, with their faces cloven with hatchets and their bodies ghastly with wounds." Harte was forced to leave his post, eventually moving to the East Coast, then to Europe, finally settling in England, where he died in 1902.