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The Splendid Idle Forties: Stories of Old California (1902)
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"Originally published under the title 'Before The Gringo Came,' the contains a number of new stories. In its entirety the volume contains the full social history of California under the Spanish and Mexican rule. Californians have long looked upon Mrs. Atherton as the best social historian of her state. One or two of the stories are true, the rest purely imaginary, but all are accurate pictures, true to the traditions and customs of the times in those fine old days before the Spanish were driven out of California, and the whole fabric of the life was, as it were, part and parcel of what can only be seen now in some of the remoter parts of old Mexico. The book really forms a very complete picture or collection of pictures of the social life and arcadia of early California." -Canadian Bookseller and Library Journal, Volume 15, April, 1902 These are stories of Old California, perhaps the best known collection of stories of that romantic period of California history when the incoming Americans were first intermingling with the Californians of rancho and presidio. Atherton's stories of love and death, bull and bear fights, moonlight meriendas, horse races and fancy dress balls, are increasingly meaningful and precious. They are truly classics of Californiana. Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton (October 30, 1857 - June 14, 1948) was an American writer. Atherton, was an American Feminist and writer of social and historical fiction, much of it set in California. Although her reputation is founded primarily on her California fiction and essays, as well as her biography of Alexander Hamilton, Atherton also produced a number of Gothic stories, some of them, such as The Bell in the Fog, were considered significant achievements in the Gothic and supernaturalist traditions.
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