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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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								163
good fellow, now arrived at an over-estimate of him-
self.  It would demand a very strong head and cool
sense to have got to another conclusion, in his position.
The Howadji books were pretty ones, the Potiphar, clever,
but inherently snobbish.  Thackeray beaten on his own
ground!  cried the critic s here, not seeing that the book was
at best but an echo of the master, with a Yankee taint
which none of his brave books ever had.     When the dainty
author is saying  My good Sir, an ormolu clock would have
thrown Pericles intoa fit!  he s more of a snob than poor
Paul Potiphar ever was.   Satire at the expense of parvenus
is a cheap, overdone business anyway, and a rich man s
desire to surround himself with handsome things may some-
times be ludicrous but it isn t contemptible.  Again the
book has a fault of construction, in the tagging on of a sort
of retrospective love-story to Mrs Potiphar.       I ve no doubt
the young ladies think Curtis a darling man and he
himself that is fervently persuaded that going to England
as U. S. ambassador would be a delightful thing. Well; he
had the pluck to choose the right side in the political contest,
at least, so give him credit for that, at least!        But to
write books isn t the noblest thing in the world, especially
in America, at the present time.    And these men, Curtis,
 Ik. Marvel  &c are only feeble reflections of stronger
lights elsewhere.   Hawthorne is the only thoroughly Ame-
rican writer I know   a man who couldn t by any
chance have been begotten out of New England.
  21.  Saturday.  Breakfast with Mr & Mrs Corbin,
after a walk with the latter.   Gun & Cahill came.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page one hundred and eighty-five
Description:Comments on George William Curtis.
Date:1858-08-20
Subject:Books and reading; Cahill, Frank; Corbyn, Wardle; Corbyn, Wardle, Mrs.; Curtis, George William; Gun, Robert; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine
Description:Includes descriptions of boardinghouse living, a picnic at Hoboken with other New York artists and journalists, his drawing and writing work in New York, attending a lecture by Lola Montez, visits to James Parton and Fanny Fern and the Edwards family, a controversy over Fitz James O'Brien's story ''The Diamond Lens,'' artist Sol Eytinge's relationship with writer Allie Vernon, the suicide of writer Henry William Herbert, antics of the New York Bohemians, the interest of people living in his boarding house in spiritualism, a visit to his friend George Bolton's farm in Canada, a visit to Niagara Falls, and a scandal involving Harbormaster Willis Patten, who lives in his boarding house.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Farms; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Publishers and publishing; Suicide; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Rochester, New York; Elmira, New York; Paris, Ontario, Canada
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.