“False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.”

Christian Nestell Bovee, from Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862)

No verified photo of Mr. Bovee exists. This is a drawing of the Parker building where the famous Saturday Club of Boston was held. A version of the Saturday Club still continues to this day. Via Wikipedia.

Christian Nestell Bovee (February 22, 1820 – January 18, 1904) was an epigrammatic New York City writer, editor, and lawyer. A born New Yorker, he received his early education in private schools, then went on to pursue law. He was admitted to the bar in 1843, but still had strong literary tastes, frequently attending the famous Saturday Evening Club in Boston with the likes of Henry W. Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Washington Irving, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, of whom he was a close friend. He continued writing throughout his career, publishing only two books, Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies in 1857, and Intuitions and Summaries of Thought in 1862. Both were successes for their time and were later widely quoted in contemporaneous compilations. He died in Philadelphia, in 1904. 

Editor’s Note: The Saturday Club, established in 1855, was an informal monthly gathering in Boston, Massachusetts, of writers, scientists, philosophers, historians, and other notable thinkers of the mid-Nineteenth Century. The club began meeting informally at the Albion House in Boston, before moving into Parker House on School Street. The original members included Louis Agassiz, Richard Henry Dana Jr., and James Russell Lowell. In the following years, membership was extended to Oliver Holmes, Cornelius Conway Felton, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and William Hickling Prescott. Other members included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Asa Gray, Benjamin Peirce, Charles Sumner, John Greenleaf Whittier, and others. Invitations to the group were considered a sort of affirmation of acceptance into Boston’s high society. Many great authors, poets, and novelist were inspired by the Saturday, and the gatherings led to the creation of the famous Atlantic Monthly magazine. It was truly a who’s who of mid-1800s thinkers, and a fabulous product of its time.


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