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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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his having attributed old jokes to me in his
review of my book in the Daily News!             I think
Dickens  good nature is shown in extracting a
Micawber out of a Tom Powell.   There s the
rudiments of the character every way perceptible, but
oh! what a mischievous malignant dog, in his peculiar
way is the earthy original who unconsciously sat
for the portrait of the dear, dirty, delightful
 friend of Copperfield s youth.         In fact Dickens
can t make a man with fun in him a scoundrel  
he does so love it.    hence he extracts the inherent
mirth latent in the character and throws away the
dirty alloy.    Yet is old Powell unique!   He
had a trick, once, of meeting you and coining some
lie that same acquaintance hadn t said of you, tell-
ing the other side a similar story.  Picton told him
he d wring his nose for it as he, Powell,  had been
an  epidemic  on him, too long!   When detected, old
Powell passes of the matter as an immense joke or
claims credit &c.    One of his traits is scissoring out
newspaper incidents occurring in other cities, changing
the names to that of New Yorkers, principally ac-
quaintances, and republishing them.   He would get
F. Leslie into twenty libel suits, every week, if let
to have his own way.    He is all the morning chat-
tering and suggesting such  good jokes.   Were his
character not pretty well known he might work
infinite mischief.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Ten: page one hundred and sixty-three
Description:Describes Thomas Powell.
Date:1859-03-28
Subject:Books and reading; Dickens, Charles; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leslie, Frank; Picton, Thomas; Powell, Thomas; Publishers and publishing
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-31

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Ten
Description:Includes descriptions of an explosion of a boat on the North River, New York literary Bohemians, boarding house living at 132 Bleecker Street, his freelance writing and drawing work, the death of writer Mort Thomson's young wife Anna, working on the publication ''Constellation,'' visits to the Edwards family, a falling out with Fanny Fern over an article he wrote criticizing ''The New York Ledger,'' a rumor that Fitz James O'Brien is the heir to an Irish baronetcy, and a change of landladies at his boarding house.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):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.