[Poker Flats & Roaring Camp] Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co., 1870. Original green cloth.
First Edition. This is Harte's third and best-known book, one which he spent the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to equal. These tales had originally appeared in the Overland Monthly, of which he was the first editor; the title story had appeared in 1868 in its second issue ("under publisher's protest... The religious press called it 'immoral,' California papers thought it 'singular,' but Eastern critics went headlong into eulogies" [K&H]). The volume also includes such Harte throbs as "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," "Miggles" and "Mliss"; an additional tale, "Brown of Calaveras," would be added to the (later in 1870) second and subsequent editions.
This copy is in green pebble-grain cloth; copies were also bound in terra-cotta or purple, with this grain or another (no priority). It is in near-fine condition (a touch of wear at the head of the spine, minor front cover crease, front endpaper barely cracking). This is an American classic, increasingly difficult to find in collectible condition. Blanck 7246; Zamarano 80 #40; Grolier American 76; a Johnson High Spot ("The first stories written by a westerner about the westerners in the western vernacular, the earlier western writers being so afraid of being called 'unliterary' that they ignored the crude but powerful material at hand"). Provenance: armorial bookplate of John Taylor Bottomley (1869-1925), prominent Boston surgeon and lecturer at Harvard Medical School. Item #14390