Characterized as an "eccentric literary man not without a spice of genius," William North was born in England and eventually settled in New York City (W. Rossetti 48-49).
Thomas Picton, former editor of the Sachem, adds his voice to the debate over the originality of The Diamond Lens.
Thomas Picton asserts that William North was particularly proud of two of his works: The Living Corpse and the unpublished Microcosmos.
Thomas Picton compares O'Brien to William North stating, "[a]ny person acquainted with the two parties cannot fail to draw a disparaging distinction between the scholastic attainments of the late Mr. North and the Hibernian pretensions of the ever-present and somewhat pertinacious Mr. Fitz-James O'Brien, whose sole merit in Saxon literature must be derived from his apochryphal descent from the Kings of old Erin."
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