HANDSOME ILLUSTRATED SET OF BRET HARTE’S WORKS, SIGNED BY HIM
HARTE, Bret. The Writings. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, (1896). Nineteen volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and mostly unopened. $4800.
“Autograph Edition” of Harte’s tales, essays and poems, number 31 of 350 sets signed and dated by him, illustrated with vignette title pages, 103 engraved plates—including one signed by Frederick Remington—and two-page color map of the Pacific coast, very handsomely bound.
With the success of The Luck of Roaring Camp, and Other Sketches (1870)—"Eastern critics went headlong into eulogies" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 345)—Harte found himself world-famous. His popular tales of California life, particularly those set in mining country, made him a star of the lecture circuit and helped create the local-color school of American fiction. "An ability to observe and retain, a good narrative sense and a palatable humor are responsible for [Harte's] continued prestige" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 346). These volumes include not only Harte's poetry and prose but also a biographical sketch of the author, a glossary of "Far-Western" terms and an index to characters. Complete as issued; a 20th volume would be added in 1914 as part of a limited edition. Each volume with half title and engraved general title-page with vignette. Each volume with at least one plate signed by the artist, including the frontispiece of Volume V signed by Frederick Remington. BAL 7384.