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Periodicals

About this Item

Title: Lippincott's Magazine

Creator: Susan Belasco

Publication information: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00042

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Leslie Ianno, Susan Belasco, and Kevin McMullen


One of several magazines that published work from Whitman in the last years of his life, the March 1891 issue of Lippincott's Magazine featured Whitman and included four poems, prose by Whitman and Horace Traubel, and a photograph of Whitman as a frontispiece. Whitman was clearly pleased and asked Lippincott's to send copies of the March issue to friends in England. Lippincott's, established in 1868 as a conservative magazine published in Philadelphia, was designed to compete with the successful Harper's Monthly Magazine and the Century Magazine. For seventeen years, Lippincott's was edited by John Foster Kirk, a novelist and a compiler of dictionaries of authors. The magazine became known for its excellent printing and fine woodcut illustrations. While Lippincott's published popular northern authors, such as Rebecca Harding Davis, Thomas Buchanan Read, and Harriet Prescott Spofford, the magazine also included western and southern writers as well, including Bret Harte and Sidney Lanier. By 1881, the magazine was suffering financial difficulties, and new editors introduced lighter fare, including travel literature and limited illustrations. From the late 1880s throughout the 1890s, the magazine tried to establish new ways to attract readers by printing an entire novel in each issue or by featuring individual writers. For example, Lippincott's introduced Sherlock Holmes to American audiences with the publication of The Sign of the Four and later featured many of the poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. During the last year of his life, Whitman clearly hoped for more attention from Lippincott's; however, he was disappointed that the magazine did not publish an account of his birthday celebration in 1891.

Bibliography

Loving, Jerome. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1865-1885. Vol. 3. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.

Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.

Tebbel, John. The American Magazine: A Compact History. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1969.

Whitman, Walt. The Correspondence. Edited by Edwin Haviland Miller. Vol. 5. New York: New York University Press, 1969.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. Edited by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley. New York: New York University Press, 1965.

Poems

"November Boughs." Lippincott's Magazine, November 1887, 722-723

"To the Sunset Breeze." Lippincott's Magazine, December 1890, 861

"Old-Age Echoes." Lippincott's Magazine, March 1891, 376


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