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Bret Harte was born in Albany , New York in 1839. After school, at the age of seventeen  he moved with his mother to California where he worked as a teacher, miner (minatore), printer (tipografo), express messenger, secretary of the San Francisco Mint, and editor. He published his first stories – Condensed Novels  (1867)- in The Californian and then in  The Overland Monthly  (1868) and was  the editor of both magazines.  His novels attracted wide attention in the eastern states and in Europe and soon was regarded as introducing a new genre into fiction: the western short story. He published forty-four volumes between 1867 and 1889. His most famous stories are The Luck of Roaring Camp (1868), The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1869 – adapted into films in 1936 and in 1957), How Santa Claus came to Simpson’s Bar which combined humor and  pathos and showed his ability at portraying (ritrarre) new characters for literature  – gamblers (giocatori d’azzardo),  outcasts (persone rifiutate dalla civiltà) from different countries – and describing unusual and varied landscapes – canyons and  mining-gulches (orridi, burroni). He died at Camberley, England, on the 5th of May 1902.