Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John Morley to Walt Whitman, 5 January 1869

Date: January 5, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01810

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 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.

Editorial notes: The annotation, "note from Mr. Morley Jan. 5 '69. ans. Jan 20 '69," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "see notes May 27, 88," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Beverley Rilett, Ashley Lawson, John Schwaninger, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Cristin Noonan, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

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: London.
Jan. 5. 1869.

Dear Mr. Whitman,

I cannot find room for the poem1 wh you have been so obliging as to send me, before the April Number of the Review.2 If that be not too late for you, and if you can make suitable arrangements for publication in the United States so as not to interfere with us in point of time, I shall be very glad. Perhaps you will let me know as early as you can.

With very kind regards—
Always your's sincerely
John Morley.

John Morley (1838–1923), a statesman as well as a man of letters, was editor of The Fortnightly Review, an English monthly magazine, from 1867 to 1882. He visited Whitman in February 1868; see Morley's Recollections (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1917), 2:105. In 1883, Morley was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party; he held several political offices, including serving as Chief Secretary for Ireland and Secretary of State for India. He also wrote a biography of William Gladstone (1809–1898), a Liberal politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during four non-consecutive terms.


1. In his letter to John Morley of December 17, 1868, Whitman enclosed his poem "Thou vast Rondure, Swimming in Space" in hopes of it being printed in the March issue of Fortnightly Review. Whitman's poem was not printed in the magazine. [back]

2. The Fortnightly Review was an influential English monthly that published articles on politics, science, art, and literature. It was founded in 1865 by the English novelist Anthony Trollope (1815–1882), the historian Edward Spencer Beesly (1831–1915), and several additional investors. The magazine's first editor was George Henry Lewes (1871–1878), an English philsopher and literature critic. John Morley (1838–1923) was it's second edtior. [back]


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