Born and raised in England, Thomas Butler Gunn first worked as an illustrator for the famous British satirical journa
Covers the period from August 1852 to July 3, 1853.
Gunn mentions seeing "Allie Vernon" at the offices of the Picayune and the Lantern several times during October, November, and December of 1852 (p. 67, 91-92, 99, 103, 108). In the first entry he describes her as "a pretty girl who sends verses to the Picayune (p. 67)." On another occasion, he described her interactions with another young woman, saying, "[w]hat pretty, pettish spoiled-child sort of ways some New York girls have. There was another girl with her, & there they were taking off bonnet & sleeking their hair &c, talking, chatting all round (p.91-92)." In March of 1853 he describes talking to the engraver Watson who informed him that "Allie Vernon was working for him 'Valentine' making (p.148)."
Gunn retells a story from Picton about Herbert: "This set Picton talking. Stories of Herbert (Frank Forrester.) How he, in an interview with Putnam had produced a four inch bowie knife, gravely laying it on the table, at the commencement. How he had awfully alarmed Stringer the publisher by chopping up a drawing on wood with said bowie knife, (drawing having been condemned by the little publisher,) and then – demanding payment for the same. More stories of all sorts credible & incredible."
Gunn describes seeing a melodrama: "after supping with them at Sweenys, we walked through drenching rain to the Lyceum. Farce, then a melodrama ycleped [sic] 'Pauline' by Dumas, nonsense, intensely French nonsense, but amusing from its startling incidents, thunder storms, secret doors, pistollings & finally a duel across a table, in which the Satanic, Byronic, gambling, highway-robbing impossibility who's the hero of the piece gets artistically and anatomically settled. Withal it was very well played. Laura Keene's English face, voice and acting I like, much" (166).
Gunn details Laura Keene's portrayal of Rosalind in "As You Like It": "Evening with Waud to Wallack's, there to see 'As You Like It'. Very pleasantly was sweet Rosalind played by Laura Keene, 'twas all that might be wished, save in one part; – that she was not equal to. I mean the scene of Rosalind's swooning and assuming it to be 'counterfeit' – 'counterfeit, I assure you!' The exquisite womanly tenderness, so struggled against, was not there" (213).
O'Brien entered the book auction-store while Gunn was there: "At a book auction-store met Holcomb and Levy. Talking with them,(O'Brien passed in, & out again, with his usual supercilious aping-aristocratic coolness)" (26).
Powell talks about O'Brien: "By the bye, from Powell we heard how O'Brien had been excellently well-licked for some impertinence by his whilome [sic] crony North" (27-28).
Gunn mentions meeting Charles Seymour at the Lyceum: "One night, (Wednesday the 24th) at Brougham's benefit performance at the Lyceum, taking Mr Greatbatch with me. There I met Seymour, (alias Bailey) Banks, Carrol, Bunnel &c and a host of Lanternites" (95).
Gunn recounts meeting Seymour briefly on December 22: "To B & P's, to the Printing place; anon met Seymour, alias Bailey, the literary one, who told me of divers rascalities of his wood-pecking brother" (112).
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