October 24, 2010
The author of the article, Julian Hawthorne (pictured below), was an up-and-coming writer, perpetually in the shadow of his father Nathaniel Hawthorne. Years earlier, Lowell had tutored him in German while at Harvard; Julian dropped out without graduating
Henry James wrote privately that he knew Hawthorne had played an "infamous trick", leaving him "the basest cad" and deserving of a flogging. Lowell denied much of what Hawthorne reported and claimed that the whole interview was off the record. He also worried that the article made him seem like "a toothless old babbler." In fact, Lowell printed a reply only a few days later in the World. "The reporter has made me say the reverse of what I really must have said and of what is the truth." James was disappointed by Lowell's relatively calm dismissal of the incident. "His protest, however," wrote James, "ought to have been sharper."