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William Duthie

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Published : 20 Articles
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
Views : 2299

Duthie, William I Duthie, Mr. Duthie I, goldsmith, writer. Born in London of working-class parents. Learned trade of goldsmith and became model workman. Studied at a Mechanics' Institution, later dedicating The Pearl of the Rhone to his Latin teacher, John Robson, in gratitude for Robson's efforts "to help poor youths, myself among the number, along the rugged path of knowledge." During a period of depression among London goldsmiths, went to Hamburg, where he worked for some months; then, as journeyman, knapsack on back, tramped through Europe, working at his trade. After three and a half years, returned to England; utilized his experiences and travels for his H.W. articles and thereafter for his Tramp's Wallet. Contributed verse and prose to Welcome Guest; also contributed verse, he stated, to Cornhill, A.Y.R., and "other popular serials." His sonnet in memory of Douglas Jerrold was included in The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold. Published, in addition to A Tramp's Wallet and The Pearl of the Rhone, two novels: Counting the Cost, 1867, and Proved in the Fire. A Story of the Burning of Hamburg, 1867.




      Duthie was apparently acquainted with both Dickens and Wills. A Tramp's Wallet he dedicated "by permission" to Dickens, "in grateful acknowledgment of his sympathy and encouragement during the publication of the greater portion of its contents; and as a slight tribute of admiration for his unwearying labours as a public writer, to the advancement of the whole people." Counting the Cost he dedicated to Wills "in sincere acknowledgment of much kindly help in the literary life of the author."
      Dickens suggested a change of title for one of Duthie's articles and asked Wills to "Look to the slang talk" of "Licensed to Juggle" [VII, 593-94. Aug. 20, 1853]. "More Sundays Abroad" [XIII, 400-404. May 10, 1856] he found "washy in the last degree," feeble in its treatment of a potentially good subject. "I would as soon dine off an old glove," he wrote to Wills, "as read such pale literary boiled veal" (June 27, Aug. 5, 1853; April 27, 1856).
      Duthie was one H.W. writer who did not rebel against editorial alteration in his contributions. On the contrary, he expressed his "sincere thanks" for the "careful and valuable revision" accorded his articles in the H.W. office and acknowledged, in particular, his obligation to the "unknown collaborator" (it was Morley) who added to one of the articles "some valuable information."
      Harper's reprinted "A Taste of Austrian Jails" [IV, 368-72. Jan. 10, 1852] and ''Down in a Silver Mine" [V, 593-96. Sept. 4, 1852], without acknowledgment to H.W.
               Allibone

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971 

 

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