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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 80, March 1, 1858

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Identifier: DX03467913

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 80, March 1, 1858

Description: Regarding alleged plagiarism in Fitz James O'Brien's story, The Diamond Lens, from a story previously written by the late William North.


set. He [Fitz James O’Brien]'s got a letter in the Evening Post about the Diamond Lens business. Deny's it in [unclear word], publicly; not so in private. Says he believes the idea is his, he may have talked of it four years ago with [William] North, that [Charles Bailey] Seymour and [Charles F.] Briggs back out of their assertions &c. In fact they wouldn’t care about getting into a row with O’Brien — though they cordially detest him — on behalf of dead North. [Frank] Cahill up. Incidentally he spake of a man who writes, or has written for the Sunday Mercury, who lives on the prostitution of his sisters. His name’s Toole. He’s an American, of Irish descent. His sisters — two of them — plied their trade in Washington, among the politicians. There’s no doubt of the truth of this. (I think, in future, I’ll put down all I hear, of the cursed people of the cursed press of this cursed country. The Sunday press of this city ought to be printed in blood and ordure. In turning over its filthy pages you feel like Gulliver among the Yahoos. No tongue can over-express it’s vileness.) O’Brien had an article from the “Boston Transcript” puffing him tremendously as the author of the Diamond Lens, and giving a memoir of him, his literary & dramatic successes (?) &c. [Jesse] Haney read it aloud. It was written by [Henry] Clapp. There were exaggerations in it amounting to lying. Talking of [Thomas] Picton, Haney says he’s generally drunk within precisely fifteen minutes after the bank, wherein he’s employed as cashier, closes! O’B said he didn’t know Picton had any feud with him. Last time they met they took sundry drinks together and Picton confided some grievance of his to O’B.

It’s edifying to see how dearly “literary gents” love one another!

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-03-01

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)
Drinking of alcoholic beverages


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