A minor literary figure, Murger’s pioneer writing about bohemian life was genuinely influential, and inspired the composers Verdi and Leoncavallo. He collaborated with his sidekick Banville (a novel in letter form), warned Manet about Delacroix, and died of syphilis in Nadar’s arms. Along with Baudelaire, Courbet and Nadar, he belonged to a coterie who hung out at a café where the owner allowed his hard-up customers to share a single coffee, reckoning to cash in on their eventual fame (he did). The older Musset, already established, was another friend. Whistler, something of a groupie, embarrassed him by his attentions.