Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas W. H. Rolleston, 2 December [1881]

Date: December 2, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00760

Source: The Trent Collection of Walt Whitman Manuscripts, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:254. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

431 Stevens Street1
Camden New Jersey
U S America
Dec: 2—Ev'ng

Rec'd to-day a copy of your Encheiridion2—seems a little beauty of book-making. I suppose you have rec'd the copies of new L of G: I sent you over three weeks since, addressed same as this card.3

Walt Whitman


1. This letter bears the address: T W H Rolleston | Lange Strasse 29 | Dresden | Saxony. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Dec | 3; Dresden (?) | I. | 18 12 | 81 | (?). [back]

2. Rolleston (1857–1920) was one of Professor Edward Dowden's students, a poet, biographer of Lessing, and historian of Irish myth and legends (Whitman and Rolleston—A Correspondence, ed. Horst Frenz [Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1951], 7). The correspondence between the two men began in 1879 (see Rolleston's letters in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, England), but the poet's replies (at least six) are missing. On October 16, 1880, Rolleston sent Whitman a copy of his translation of Epictetus which he had printed at his own expense. The pamphlet is now in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. In the following year the Enchiridion of Epictetus was published in London by Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. In his copy, also in the Feinberg Collection, Whitman wrote in 1886 or 1888: "Have had this little Vol. at hand or in my hand often all these years." The markings in three different colors testify to the fact that Whitman perused the book. [back]

3. Whitman sent a letter to Rolleston on November 9 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Feinberg Collection). [back]


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