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    A Phyllis of the Sierras

    by Bret Harte

    Book Description

    Bret Harte's original fame rested upon his classic California Gold Rush tale, "The Luck of Roaring Camp." Four years after Harte's death, his former associate Mark Twain mocked his writing in his autobiography, saying that Harte was insincere, and that the dialect of "Roaring Camp" was never heard outside of that story. Yet at one point in time, Bret Harte was the highest-paid writer in America. "A Phyllis of the Sierras" was first published in 1888, and it is one of Harte's later writings. After failures in America, Harte traveled in Europe and eventually settled in London, where his work found more favor than it had in America. "A Phyllis of the Sierras" could be thought to be a "rustic" Western version of Henry James's transatlantic romances. Young British heir Frank Mainwaring encounters the Bradleys, a deceptively easygoing, yet charming California couple who've settled in the Sierras. Frank falls for Mrs. Bradley's attractive cousin Louise Macy; but his frail health and British manners cause all manner of confusion. By the end, a reversal of fortune proves a true love match for Frank, and the native nobility of the Californians shines through.

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