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Lot 78

78. HENTY, G[eorge] A[lfred]. Captain Bayley’s Heir: A Tale of the Gold Fields of California.... London, Glasgow & Dublin: Blackie & Son, Limited, n.d. 386, [3]-32 (ads) pp., 12 plates. 8vo, original blue pictorial cloth printed in black and gold, edges tinged greenish-gold. Joints a little rubbed and a few spots to binding, text block a little loose at several places, otherwise fresh and bright.

     Reprint of a popular work of juvenile fiction based on the California Gold Rush. WLA, Literary History of the American West: “Captain Marryat, Bracebridge Hemyng, Robert M. Ballantyne, G. A. Henty, and Mayne Reid are typical of British writers who wrote about the American West during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Again and again they recount how a young man, falsely accused of improper conduct, clears his name by a trip to the American West, a trip fraught with manly danger and rewarded by eventual restoration of his name and wealth.... These writers portrayed English manners and life, on desert and prairie, as superior to all others, they made every attempt to educate their youthful audiences, filling their pages with fact and geography, often at the expense of plot and art.... Captain Bayley’s Heir...recounts how Frank Norris, who is wrongly accused of theft, flees England for adventures in the West which enable him to achieve wealth, restore his name, marry his sweetheart, and stand for Parliament.” ($75-150).

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