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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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8. Tuesday.  Drawing on wood all day, Fonthill Castle, as  tother wont do.
Girl singing at piano in the after noon.     A little harmonizing at night, in
which I joined.  /                 Have to day re-read the novel of the Rou 
by Samuel Beazley to whom I was articled, in Soho Square days. Mr Hart
left it, it being here republished (with Bulwer s name as author on title page.)
A clever tale it surely is; yet never yet did tale contain a more extraordinary
man than its author.  Were he truly described, as I, and those of the Office
knew him, the portraiture would be condemned as an improbable self-contradictory
fiction.  Divorced from his wife, (it was generally said on the grounds of impotency),
she had wedded again. He had a mistress, who had children, & I believe his;
a little harmless woman, in no wise annually or other way attractive.   He visited her
once or twice a week, & sometimes she him, often have we seen her.  We d find 
letters of hers lying about, and unscrupulously enough would read and talk over
them. One would be a petition for coal, another a detail how certain half crowns
he had left were bad ones.   His amours were of all classes, many & singular
the discoveries we d make. Now a letter from a dashing Courtesan, indignant at
unfulfilled promises, reminding him of his age, telling him that he must have
known  twas but for money  her favours had been granted; threatening publication of
his letters & asking a notice of them in the  Era . (He did the literary notices for that
paper.)     Another would be to him under the name of his coachman.   Another inti-
mating a doubt as to whether he was truly a  butler  as he represented himself.
He had no idea of decency, would cry  come in  to women servants, when attired but
in shirt.  He was always in a hurry & in debt. He was the most tastefully [unclear word]
man I have ever known ^|Once however he took a whim to wear a villaneous looking old 
hat. I recollect Boutcher kicking it, it could not be rendered worse|. He had 
served in the Army in Spain, had travelled, was a
good Architect, had written two fine Novels, sonnets, [unclear word] & otherwise. 
He was witty
and ready in converse.   He had a dread of rows, and always did scolding by letters.
He was a wonderful letter writer, could convey the most rankling insinuations, without
leaving room for a reply or justification.   He did little Charities and liked to oblige.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and thirty
Description:Comments on his former boss, Samuel Beazley.
Date:1851-07-08
Subject:Beazley, Samuel; Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Fonthill Castle (Riverdale, N.Y.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hart; Women
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]; [London, England]
Scan Date:2011-02-07

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn's attempts to find drawing work among New York publishers, brief employment in an architectural office, visits to his soldier friend William Barth on Governors Island, boarding house living, drawing at actor Edwin Forrest's home at Fonthill Castle, and sailing and walking trips taken with friends.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Military; Publishers and publishing; Religion; Travel; 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.