Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 13 October 1886

Date: October 13, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: bms.00001

Source: British Museum. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 4:52. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein and Kyle Barton

328 Mickle Street—Camden New Jersey U S America1
—Oct. 13 1886

First I ought to apologize for not answering your letters before—I am always glad to get them—Nothing specially new or different with me—I am willing you should print "Specimen Days" in your series—let W[alter] S[cott] send me what he thinks he can afford, & I shall want 10 copies of the book.2 I should advise you to leave out the Appendix—If you want it further cut down, let me furnish you with a prepared copy—

Walt Whitman

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 England. It is postmarked: Camden | Oct | 13 | 8 PM | 1886(?) | N.J. [back]

2. On November 26 Rhys spoke frankly: "Thanks very much for letting me have it! I will get as much as I can out of the publishers; for as Walter Scott is one of the largest railway contractors, as well as a publisher, & well stocked with money, I have no scruple on that score. It is not easy in any case to get much out of him, unfortunately. For my own sake, as well as yours, I wish it were!" On January 19, 1887, he informed Whitman that Scott was willing to pay ten guineas for Specimen Days, the same amount he had paid for the right to print The Poems of Walt Whitman [Selected] (Walter Scott: London, 1886). (Also see the letter from Whitman to Ernest Rhys of November 9, 1885.) [back]


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