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California Literature

California Literature is one of the sub-headings of the California: Index pages which include information for students and educators, researchers and travelers. Numerous California topics and resources include but are not limited to History of California, Geography and Geology, California Indians, and more.


California Literature Selections for Students

Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) traveled to California in 1879 in pursuit of Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, the Oakland woman with whom he had fallen in love in France. The two were married in the spring of 1880 and honeymooned in a cabin at Silverado, a mining ghost town on Mt. St. Helena. In the next fourteen years, Mrs. Stevenson nursed her husband while he produced the verses, stories, and books of travel and adventure that made him famous. Silverado Squatters (1888) tells the story of the newlywed Stevensons' trip to Silverado. Stevenson writes of their journey from San Francisco up the Napa Valley to Calistoga and then up the mountain to their goal. He describes their neighbors, and recounts tales of the town in its glory days as a silver mining camp. (You can visit the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park on Mt. St. Helena, north of Calistoga on Highway 29 in Napa County.)
Recollections of a newspaperman; a record of life and events in California, by Frank A. Leach
Frank Aleamon Leach (b. 1846) published the Vallejo Evening Chronicle, 1867-1886; and the Oakland Enquirer, 1886-1898. He retired from journalism to become superintendent of the San Francisco Mint, 1897-1907. Recollections of a newspaperman (1917) begins as Leach and his mother leave Cayuga County, New York, to rejoin the boy's father in California, where the elder Leach had set up a bottling plant in Sacramento. Leach recalls his boyhood there and in Napa, where the family moved in 1857. He tells of experiences as a printer and newspaper publisher in Napa, Vallejo, and Oakland. Other topics are a rail trip east in 1875, mining speculations, a term in the state legislature, Republican Party politics, ranching, railroad strikes, and his campaign against Oakland bosses and the rail interests. Highlights of his years after journalism are his work at the mint and the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.
The Jack London Collection
California Heritage Digital Images Collection
Berkeley Digital Library Literature Archives
Online Archive of California
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California Authors

California Writers Index
Contemporary authors are not included. The list of authors and their works is incomplete. For instance, RL Stevenson only had one item listed when we visited this site on November 30.
California Authors
Bret Harte
Jack London, His Life and His Books
Eugene O'Neill
The Life and Works of Robert Louis Stevenson
Jessamyn West (1903-1984)
News from Native California: Authors and Titles
California Dreaming: California Authors (contemporary, partial listing)


California Newspapers


California Periodicals




Updated 26 January 2009
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