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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 47, December 16-18, 1858

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Identifier: DX03138099

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 47, December 16-18, 1858

Description: Regarding reviewing two books of prostitution, by Acton and by Sanger, for Thomas McElrath.


I must jot down a story [James] Parton told me. N.P. Willis in his early days was engaged to be married to [Park] Benjamin's sister. Being in debt and dunned by a livery-stable keeper N. P. mentioned this engagement as a plea for postponement. He was going to marry the rich Miss B. and then he'd be able to pay. The livery-stable keeper tattled, the brother broke off the match and has hated Willis ever since. To this hour N.P. doesn't know why the lady wouldn't have him. They were a toppingly-rich family.

17. Friday. To "Constellation" Office, saw [George] Roberts, the publisher, had talk with him, left MS, and drawing — come again on Monday. Reading Acton on Prostitution. Out to [Dr. Edward H.] Dixon's for an hour at night, thinking to borrow other books to read up for reviewing Sanger. Returned by 10 1/2 . Writing to Hannah [Bennett].

18. Saturday. In doors all day reading Sanger and Acton. There's no scope for a slashing review of the former as [Thomas] Mc Elrath suggested. Apart from a certain amount of book-making and unnesscesarily diffusive comment, his book's well enough. I'm not going to pitch into it against my conscience. All that could be honestly said in objection might be put in two or three paragraphs. The backbone of a strong literary criticism should be truth — making out a case to order would produce a wretched as well as an unfair article. Acton's book is the better and smaller of the two — terse, strong, honest, and clear-thought. These men who deal with facts — who look at life undraped — knock conventional notions all to smash, when they speak, in the most edifying

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-12-16

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Books and reading


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