William Allingham (1824–1889) was a minor poet from Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, and a close friend of many of the famous people of the day – in particular Tennyson, D. G. Rossetti and Thomas Carlyle. He was a humane and curious man, and his diary offers often amusing glimpses into the lives of his Victorian contemporaries.
The following is an extract from August 1858.
Returning to Paris, after a short tour in Switzerland and North Italy, I found Thackeray in the Hotel Bristol with his two daughters. He not well — often in bed till mid-day or later — struggling with (Pendennis), but in the evening usually recovering himself.
I told him I had been with the Brownings (who were then in Paris, staying in the Rue Castiglioni, No. 6).
‘Browning was here this morning,’ Thackeray said, ‘ what spirits he has — almost too much for me in my weak state. He almost blew me out of bed!’ Continue reading