Born second in a family of nine children in Maine and schooled in Boston, Willis attended Yale and traveled extensively in Europe. His sister was Fanny Fern, a member of the Pfaffian crowd.
In Chapter VIII, the author begins with a discussion of Books's literary heroes, Balzac and Thackeray. The author reprints Books's praise of both writers. Books provides the author with several useful pieces of information, such as what the other residents have named their rooms, the French system of fire-making, and the differences between French and English attitudes towards soap and washing. Books also shares his thoughts on the peculiarities of American naming, such as the prevalence of middle names and persons referred to by their initials. He shares with the author the observation that most great American men do not have middle names. After his failure to find soap, the author uses some of Books's and provides a description of Books's cabinet de toilette. The author concludes with a description of his first dinner at the Hotel Corneille, his dining companions, and a discussion of the thrift of the French student.
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015