Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 9 November 1885
Date: November 9, 1885
Editorial note: The annotation, "[To Ernest Rhys]," is in an unknown hand.
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977).
Location: Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00009
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray
Excuse the delay—I have rec'd the draft for 10 pounds, 10 shillings, & have drawn the money. As I understand it, the plan is to make a selection from my Poems & put them in a Volume of your "Canterbury" series, to be called Walt Whitman's Poems,—you to select—& perhaps to write Preface or Biographical notice, or what not—I am willing—on the sole & specific condition that it is not to come for sale to this country, without further & written permission from me.
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).
1. This letter is addressed: Ernest Rhys | 59 Cheyne Walk | Chelsea | London SW | England. It is postmarked: CAMDEN | NOV | 9 | 5 PM | 1885 | N.J.; NEW YORK | NOV 9 | 11 PM | 85; LONDON. S.W. | RB | NO 20 | 85. [back]
2. Ernest Rhys (1859–1946) wrote on May 31, 1885: "Let me say simply in a young man's way to you who are an old man now, how dearly and earnestly I think of you across the sea to-night, remembering the Past, looking on to the great to-morrow, for perhaps of all young men you have helped me most powerfully & perfectly." On July 7, 1885 Rhys proposed a one-shilling edition of Whitman's poetry in The Canterbury Poets series. On September 25–29 Rhys wrote for the third time after waiting "for a reply so far in vain," and included the payment from Walter Scott, the English publisher of The Canterbury Poets. On Rhys's letter Whitman wrote: "the little English selection from L. of G. is out since, & the whole edition (10,000) sold." 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). [back]