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Tennessee's Partner

Bret Harte

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Concord, yielded a two-fold crop: gold-dust for the superintendent to turn into bullion, and stories for his young secretary later to turn into literature. By 1868 his reputation was so great that when Mr. A. Roman established The Overland Monthly, he was made its first editor.

Mr. Roman impressed upon him the literary possibilities of the life of the miners, and furnished him with incidents, tales, and pictures. "The Luck of Roaring Camp," his first venture in this hitherto almost untouched field, proved that Bret Harte had come into his own. His local sketches and Mexican legends had been imitative of Irving, his stories of Dickens; but for this he had evolved a method and a style distinctly personal. His first success was followed up by "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" and (in October, 1869) by the tale here reprinted; and when, in 1870, an Eastern house published his sketches in book form, his fame was secure. In 1871 he left California, and after a few years. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a story about loyalty of a very simple man for his partner even though his partner has stolen his wife and was a highwayman robber.

Reading Bret Harte’s Tennessee’s Partner is a satisfying read. On the surface, it is humorous and sentimental, yet a glimpse below the surface of the narrative inspires questions and contemplation about the intent of the characters and the author. What really happened here?

This short story is about Tennessee and Tennessee's Partner. I felt like it was very difficult to keep up with at first. I couldn't understand who was doing what, and had to have it explained to me that the wife did belong to Tennessee's Partner and then the wife ran off with Tennessee. I underst...more

It is a rather odd short story about a business partner who stays loyal to his colleague no matter what he does or what crime he commits.

Like Guy de Maupassant's Two Friends, this is a short story about friendship. It comes alive as the two men face a difficult, and ultimately fatal, outcome. I enjoyed it.

Great example of regionalism and the complexities of dialect. This would complement any of Twain's classics really well.

I have arranged my thoughts into a haiku:

"Despite bad choices
Like love, friendship's sometimes blind,
No matter the end."

This is a rather cryptic story of an inscrutable man that made me think deeply about the nature of friendship along with the dire, emotionally barren environments people often find themselves living in. With the setting of the story in Poker Flats, a fictional gold mining town of the late 19th ce...more