Born in Massachusetts to a family of merchants and seamen, Clapp traveled to Paris to translate the socialist writings of Fourier.
This memoir contains anecdotes about a number of journalists, writers, actors, and celebrities of the 19th century, including William North, Henry Clapp, and Horace Greeley.
Edwards recalls that Clapp wrote a "highly laudatory article" about William North after his suicide and that Clapp "had known him intimately in London and Paris." Edwards also describes his own relationship with Clapp in Paris and states that Clapp introduced him to Horace Greeley. Of Clapp, Edwards says that "he had cultivated to a fatal point the art of saying disagreeable things in an innocent manner" and cites several examples of this behavior. Edwards states that he was surprised to hear Clapp described as a Bohemian, since Clapp did not drink alcohol at all when Edwards knew him.
Edwards says that Henry Clapp introduced him to Horace Greeley when serving as Greeley's correspondent in Paris for the New York Tribune. Of Greeley, Edwards says that "[h]e was a pleasant, genial man, of whom I preserve a happy recollection, notwithstanding his spiritualism, his old hat, and his habit of pronouncing French as though it were English; and I discovered, quite recently, that he once wrote a clever and agreeable poem."
Edwards lists North among his English and American friends in Paris, asserting that North came to Paris after Lamartine praised the Englishman's translation of his MÃ©ditations PoÃ©tiques. Edwards also describes North's subsequent literary endeavours in the United states, stating that "he was at first well received, and invited to contribute to different periodicals. But he could not write to order; he was unable to fall in with the ways of editors, and his work was sometimes too original for ordinary publications." He cites the strange plot of North's novel The City of the Jugglers as an example of the author's eccentricity and recounts North's assertion that if only one copy had been sold, its merit would have been recognized. Edwards also discusses North's suicidal tendencies, describing an incident in which North first admitted he had tried to kill himself the previous night with laudanum and then feigned stabbing himself in the heart with a knife.
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