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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 181, approximately May 17-31, 1857

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Identifier: DX03760262

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 181, approximately May 17-31, 1857

Description: Regarding his feelings about publishers, the Mason Brothers in particular.


They affect but a limited faith in the fact that the success of a book-like that of a man — is generally according to its merits, believing much that book-sellers, times, and seasons, influence sales to a disproportionately important extent. Walking so closely by ledger and day-book they are impolitically ignorant of the temperament and feelings of men whom it behoves them to understand, and accustomed to monstrously over estimate their own position. I do not, for a moment, want to drop into the miserable cant about ogre-publishers and victim authors; but I really think these men might find it to their advantage to engage a person of tact and intuition just to receive and deal with people. They have no true knowledge of the wares they deal in, and sometimes vent amusing Sir Oracleisms. (I heard one give an opinion that 'twas a much easier thing to write a book of the present day — say "Pendennis" or the the "Newcomes" — than a mediaval Walter-scottish romance!) Yet 'tis good training to go through, this. One learns a great deal by his first book. I have got to regard it very coolly, not 'tis done — as a sort of investment, put aside somewhere, which may turn up to my advantage, someday. I have derived some self confidence by the fact of its completion. The Picayune is not yet sold. Mrs [Mary] Levison advertised it, at first without mentioning it by name, subsequently with. [Frank] Bellew

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1857-05-31

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Publishers and publishing


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