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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 88, February 13, 1850

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Identifier: DX08773042

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 88, February 13, 1850

Description: Comments on the writing styles of Daniel Defoe, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Milton.


for children — even to the boat incident.) Love and honor to thy name [Daniel] Defoe — thou hast left a legacy of pleasure and thoughtfulness to ages yet unborn. What a truthful, homely narration of mind and incident is it; and how English is [Robinson] Crusoe in everything. The style of the narrative is immutable, as is the story. Nor is Defoe seduced, (as his imitators have been) into painting Solitude in too bright colors — yet what an intensely attractive book is it, ever. How well Defoe describes character, — an English sailor to wit — to the life. “The Englishman replied, like a true rough-hewn tarpaulin “they might starve and be damn’d — they should not plant or build in that place.” / The religious part of Crusoe is given with unstudied power, — nor would the book be, as it is, a Complete one, without it. And the gravity and loneliness of the style is to my thinking more manly, more English and expressive, that the pert, auctioneer’s clip-word dialect in use both on type and tongue now-a-days. Verily old [Geoffrey] Chaucer’s, simple, and deliberate dialect is ten-times preferable. We can’t think excepting in exaggerated short-hand. Read a line of [John] Milton — the most commonplace one to be found, and is not the very utterance of it musical. / This morning, as I sat in my room, door half open, I heard Mrs. [Mary] Holt, the landlady scolding some unhappy female boarder below. It was done with all violence and coarse opprobrium — possibly-lack of

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1850-02-13

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
Books and reading
Working class women


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