Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 28 December 1886

Date: December 28, 1886

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:60. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00828

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray




Camden
Dec. 28 '86

I am ab't as usual & in good spirits & condition—Have been out driving to-day, & have eaten a good dinner (oysters &c)—Have a Tennyson blaat in the forthcoming Critic of Dec. 311—Happy New Year!


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
William Sloane Kennedy (1850–1929) was on the staff of the Philadelphia American and later published biographies of Longfellow and Whittier (Dictionary of American Biography). Apparently Kennedy had called on the poet for the first time on November 21, 1880 (William Sloane Kennedy, Reminiscences of Walt Whitman [1896], 1). Though Kennedy was to become a fierce defender of Whitman, in his first published article he admitted reservations about the "coarse indecencies of language" and protested that Whitman's ideal of democracy was "too coarse and crude"; see The Californian, 3 (February 1881), 149–158. For more about Kennedy, see Katherine Reagan, "Kennedy, William Sloane (1850–1929)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. "A Word about Tennyson" appeared in the Critic on January 1, 1887. See the letter from Whitman to the editor of the Critic of December 15, 1886[back]


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