BEAUTIFULLY BOUND AND ILLUSTRATED SET OF BRET HARTE'S WORKS, SIGNED BY HIM
HARTE, Bret. The Writings. WITH: MERWIN, Henry Childs. The Life of Bret Harte. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, (1896-1914); 1911. Together, twenty-one volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, covers, and full morocco doublures, raised bands, watered silk endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and mostly unopened. $9500.
"Autograph Edition" of Harte’s tales, essays and poems, number 336 of 350 sets signed and dated by him, illustrated with vignette title pages, 103 engraved plates—including one signed by Frederic Remington—and two-page color map of the Pacific coast, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt with morocco doublures. Together with a 1911 first edition of Merwin's biography of Harte uniformly bound with the rest of the set.
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. With the separately published Volume XX from 1914, as well as a 1911 first edition of Merwin's Life of Bret Harte, uniformly bound with the rest of the set. 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 Frederic Remington. BAL 7384.
Very faint offsetting to limitation page, not affecting signature. A beautifully bound signed set in fine condition.