The Life and Letters of Henry Cuyler Bunner

By Gerard E. Jensen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
YOUTH AND EDUCATION

IN RECALLING their family wanderings after leaving Oswego, Bunner's brother mentions living in Westport, Connecticut, Washington Heights, Manhattanville, and finally New York City:

At times we had our own home, but in those days the boarding house was an institution. One of the weirdest was that in Manhattanville, which is referred to in my brothe's "Tiemann's to Tubby Hook" [ Jersey Street and Jersey Lane], kept by an old lady who rented portions of her property to tenants she was forever trying to legally evict soon after they occupied the premises. In New York we lived in many parts of the city, from near Washington Square to West Fifty-Fourth Street-then well up town. The boarding house of those days was rich in human material.

Bunner's memories of his early youth, glowingly recorded in the essay referred to, center in the "best beloved of all the homes of my nomadic boyhood"--Upper Manhattan. The arithmetic of the account is most interesting to the biographer--Bunner fortunately mentions "four pleasant years" in that region which he "first saw . . . well nigh thirty years ago"; but unluckily even though we know that the account was first published in 1893 we cannot be sure that 1863 is the exact date of the arrival of the Bunner family on the island. Blissfully unaware of the destructive encroachment of the city upon the country and of the shabbiness of the human life about him, Bunner revelled in the "fair countryside of upland and plateau. . . ." The whole region was his playground. ". . . I was a boy then, and no moderateness of earthly means could rob me of my inheritance in the sky and the woods and the fields, in the sun and the snow and the rain and the wind, and in every day's weather, of which there never was any kind made that has not some delight in it to a healthful

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The Life and Letters of Henry Cuyler Bunner
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Introductory ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - Ancestry and Childhood 1
  • Chapter II - Youth and Education 8
  • Chapter III - The Du Fais Letters, 1873-74 13
  • Chapter IV - Apprenticeship 23
  • Chapter V - Commencement 30
  • Chapter VI - Chiefly Dramatic 40
  • Chapter VII - Verse and Prose 50
  • Chapter VIII - New Friends and New Ventures 60
  • Chapter IX - Chiefly Epistolary 75
  • Chapter X - In the Thick of Things 92
  • Chapter XI - Matrimony and Music 105
  • Chapter XII - Four Busy Years 116
  • Chapter XIII - The New and the Old 130
  • Chapter XIV - A Multitude of Things 143
  • Chapter XV - Approaching His End 153
  • Chapter XVI - Bunner's Character 164
  • Chapter XVII - The Man of Letters 179
  • Chapter XVIII - The Poet 189
  • Chapter XIX The Editor 199
  • Chapter XX - The Short-Story Writer 212
  • Appendix 223
  • Index 225
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