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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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90
embourg.   Twas partly a covered one, decorated with lamps,
but having arbours and shady paths, a good orchestra, and
plenty of musicians and dancers.     The price of entrance to men
a franc, girls being admitted free.     The scene was immesely
amusing, as we, seating ourselves round the base of a pillar,
the top of which was ornamented with lamps and flowers, were
soon in the midst of a Ma lstrom of dancers.     How they dan-
ced!  Swaying the body, in and out, never a collision, always
dexterity, sometimes grace, sometimes grotesquerie, sometimes
down right absurdity.    Girls holding up their dresses, (of which
they appeared very careful,) girls with dark hair, light hair,
thick hair, scanty hair, wild hair, and no-hair-to speak of
altogether.    Good featured, slim, and dissipated young fellows,
big beards, little bears, no beards, mustachious fierce and amiable,
heads shorn a la convict, and hair sweeping the shoulders ! Very
wide trousers and very tight ones,   all in rapid oscillation.    I
saw no bad dancers, and certainly never witnessed aught like this
Ball-display.     Very few can-can peculiarities were indulged
in, there were no masters of the Ceremonies, and only one slight
row.   We heard a feminine squeak, and were told that one girl
had assaulted another but  twas over in a moment,  I think the com-
batants were expelled.     Soldiers were present to keep order.
Most of the girls present were grisettes, shop-girls, modistes, 
and the like, some there were doubtless of looser life, but you d
see a mother bring her daughters here, holding their shawls while
they danced.     You saw very few really handsome faces, but many
lively and agreeable ones.     Frenchwomen are not so pretty as are En-
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page ninety-six
Description:Describes the dancers at a dancing place near Luxembourg in Paris.
Date:1855-06-17
Subject:Balls (Parties); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):[Paris, France]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven
Description:Includes an account of his family history and descriptions of his visits with family and friends in England, witnessing a procession for Louis Napoleon in London, traveling in Paris with his brothers Charley and Edwin, his friend Harry Price's mental illness, his journey across the Atlantic to New York on the ship Washington, the marriage of Fanny Fern and James Parton, meetings of the Ornithoryncus Club in New York, and Alfred Waud's elopement with Mary Brainard.
Subject:Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Mental illness; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):London, England; Paris, France; New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.