Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 9 July 1887

Date: July 9, 1887

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 6:42–43. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00587

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock




Camden N.J. U S America1
July 9

Yours of June 28 just rec'd,2 & welcomed. I forgot what I wrote ab't the P[all] M[all] Gaz.3

—but it was not for publication, (& especially not as coming from me.) I consider myself as most handsomely treated all round, by friends & upholders in Britain & in America—We are having fearfully hot weather here & I am suffering from it—Just at this moment it is clouded—a great relief—H Gilchrist4 is here finishing his portrait of me to take back to England—it is mighty good both as likeness & work—I am writing a little—small bits—will post them to you, when printed—


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
Ernest Percival Rhys (1859–1946) was a British author and editor; he founded the Everyman's Library series of inexpensive reprintings of popular works. He included a volume of Whitman's poems in the Canterbury Poets series and two volumes of Whitman's prose in the Camelot series for Walter Scott publishers. For more information about Rhys, see Joel Myerson, "Rhys, Ernest Percival (1859–1946)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. This letter is addressed: Ernest Rhys | Care Walter Scott Publisher | 24 Warwick Lane Paternoster | Row | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden, (?) | Jun 28 | 10 AM | 87; Philadelphia | Jun | 28 | 1887 | Paid; London E.C. | A | Jy 8 87 | AB.  [back]

2. Rhys's letter is apparently not extant. [back]

3. On May 6, 1887, William T. Stead, editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, printed an excerpt from a private correspondent (probably Moncure D. Conway) alleging that Americans were not as generous as they should be in their gifts to Walt Whitman. Herbert Gilchrist, the son of Anne Gilchrist and an artist of sorts, arrived in New York on May 27, and appeared in Camden on June 3. For the next several months Gilchrist worked on the portrait now in the Rare Book Department of the University of Pennsylvania. It is reproduced in Harold W. Blodget and Sculley Bradley, eds., Comprehensive Reader's Edition (New York: New York University Press, 1965) and in Edwin Haviland Miller, The Artistic Legacy of Walt Whitman (New York: New York University Press, 1970), figure 25. For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

4. Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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