Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy, 31 May 1883

Date: May 31, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00774

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), 3:340–341. 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, Kirsten Clawson, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

May 31 '83

The publisher having placed a few advance copies in paper of Dr Bucke's WW at my disposal I send you one1—The book will be pub: here & in London in ab't ten days—May-be you could find a market (in some remunerative quarter) for some early notices of same—yours of 27th rec'd—

I don't think you appreciate the importance of that article of yours, (statement, position, signal for advance, &c) in the Critic. It entails on you deep responsibilities, & great wariness & determination in keeping it up. I mean exactly what I said in my last.2



1. Kennedy's review of Bucke's study appeared in the Boston Globe on June 10. Whitman sent "Press copies" to the Philadelphia Press, in which a review appeared on May 27; to The Critic, where it was reviewed on June 9; to the Boston Herald (to Sylvester Baxter), in which a review was printed on May 27; to the New York Evening Post; and to the New York Tribune (Notebook, Yale; and Bucke's Scrapbook, Charles E. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). The Camden County Courier noticed the book on June 2, the New York Times on July 1 (see the letter from Whitman to William D. O'Connor of July 20, 1883), and The Nation on July 26 (see the letter from Whitman to O'Connor of September 17, 1883). Edward Dowden published a review in The Academy on September 8 (see the letter from Whitman to John Burroughs of October 1883). Of his book Bucke wrote to O'Connor on February 26: "I am glad to . . . go to battle in a good cause, but I am not exultant about it, I have made up my mind to be attacked in every conceivable way, to be called an idiot, a lunatic, and all the rest of it, and I am prepared to stand it all" (The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.). [back]

2. See the letter from Whitman to William Sloane Kennedy of May 26, 1883[back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.