Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Herbert P. Horne to Walt Whitman, 1 October 1888

Date: October 1, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.02248

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 note: The annotation, "see notes Oct 24 1888," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Ian Faith, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

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28, Southampton Street.
Strand, W.C.
Oct: 1 1888

Dear Mr. Whitman.

I have asked our new agents for America to send you a copy of the October number of the Hobby Horse,2 hoping you may find something in it to interest you.

I am glad to hear from Mrs. Costelloe3 that you have recovered from your late illness. Ernest Rhys,4 who is now away in Wales, brought back golden accounts of the delightful time he had in America & during his stay with you.

I do not know if you write much fresh work now. But if you could see your way to send us some little contribution of your own for our magazine, nothing would give us greater pleasure. Unlike in so many ways as our own efforts may seem to your poetry, we have a very genuine and good admiration for your work, and to see your name on our pages, although the contribution be only a few lines, we should regard as a distinct priviledge. I believe you are aware that the Hobby Horse is entirely a labour of love.

Sincerely yours
Herbert P. Horne

Now that Herbert Gilchrist5 is in Philadelphia I suppose you see him often. Pray give my love to him & say I am expecting a letter saying when I may write to him.

Herbert Percy Horne (1864–1916) was an English poet, typographer, and designer who edited The Hobby Horse, a British periodical, for the Century Guild of Artists.


1. Whitman has drawn a blue line through both pages of the letter. [back]

2. The Hobby Horse was a quarterly Victorian periodical in England. Published by the Century Guild of Artists, the magazine was active from 1884 to 1894, mostly featuring articles on visual arts, but also devoting some space to literature and to social issues. [back]

3. Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe (1864–1945) was a political activist, art historian, and critic, whom Whitman once called his "staunchest living woman friend." A scholar of Italian Renaissance art and a daughter of Robert Pearsall Smith, she would in 1885 marry B. F. C. "Frank" Costelloe. She had been in contact with many of Whitman's English friends and would travel to Britain in 1885 to visit many of them, including Anne Gilchrist shortly before her death. For more, see Christina Davey, "Costelloe, Mary Whitall Smith (1864–1945)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

4. 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). [back]

5. Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857–1914), son of Alexander and Anne Gilchrist, was an English painter and editor of Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887). For more information, see Marion Walker Alcaro, "Gilchrist, Herbert Harlakenden (1857–1914)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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