The Luck of Roaring Camp: Susy, a Story of the Plains (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 16‏/07‏/2015 - 560 من الصفحات
Excerpt from The Luck of Roaring Camp: Susy, a Story of the Plains

With this lamentable example before me, I trust that in the following sketches I have abstained from any positive moral. I might have painted my villains of the blackest dye, so black, indeed, that the origi nals thereof would have contemplated them with the glow of comparative virtue. I might have made it impossible for them to have performed a virtuous or generous action, and have thus avoided that moral confusion which is apt to arise in the contemplation of mixed motives and qualities. But I should have burdened myself with the responsibility of their creation, which, as a humble writer of romance and entitled to no particular reverence, I did not care to do.

I fear I cannot claim, therefore, any higher motive than to illustrate an era of which Californian history has preserved the incidents more often than the char acter of the actors an era which the panegyrist was too often content to bridge over with a general com pliment to its survivors, an era still so recent that in attempting to revive its poetry, I am conscious also of awakening the more prosaic recollections of these same survivors, and yet an era replete with a certain heroic Greek poetry, of which perhaps none were more unconscious than the heroes themselves. And I shall be quite content to have collected here merely the materials for the Iliad that is yet to be sung.

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نبذة عن المؤلف (2015)

Bret Harte's birth year is variously given as 1836 and 1839, and his tombstone bears the date 1837. He is remembered especially for his two short stories, "The Luck of Roaring Camp" (1868) and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" (1870), both achievements in local color. The former is the story of an orphaned baby adopted by the men in a gold-rush-era mining camp; it was dramatized by Dion Boucicault in 1894. The latter is a tale about four undesirables expelled from a mining camp and their losing battle against a blizzard. Although he was born in the East and lived there and in Europe most of his life, Harte's 17 years of residence in California have associated him most closely with that state, and the scenes of all his successful stories are set in the West. His contemporary sketches of life in San Francisco during the 1860s, written with Mark Twain, were first collected in book form as Sketches of the Sixties (1926). When he went east again to settle in Boston in 1871, his talent seems to have deserted him. Much of his later life was spent in England. Today, his formerly out-of-print stories are available in reprint versions from Ayer Publishers.

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