The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature

I’m not convinced that Twain felt himself a member of the Bohemian crew that rattled around SF during the heady days of the 1860s. Yes, there is a lengthy trail of correspondance connecting him to Harte (and then deteriorating as Harte fell apart), and to Stoddard in London. But a connection to Coolbrith seems decidedly lacking.
Overall a well researched book that sheds light on early publishing days in SF, parsing out Twain’s experience in a more robust way than I’ve ever read. I’m disappointed by the thin information on Coolbrith, California’s first poet laureate, but I suppose the lack of true success in her day lends difficulty to those of us trying to paint a complete picture 150 years later.
The Bohemians were a self-selected group led by Bret Harte, distinguishing themselves from other common poets by sneering at the efforts of anyone who didn’t reside in the metropolis. Hints of influence of Twain on Harte (and vice versa). Stoddard & Coolbrith play more minor roles, Stoddard the nervous poet who finds freedom to enjoy men in Hawaii while Coolbrith grits her teeth and works as a teacher and later librarian in Oakland to support her mother and sister’s kids. (Coolbrith influenced Jack London’s reading choices).