Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: James Knowles to Walt Whitman, 21 February 1890

Date: February 21, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03209

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.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ian Faith, Alex Ashland, and Stephanie Blalock

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Feb 21st 18901
To / Walt [illegible]man Eq

My Dear Sir

I apologize heartily for my delay in replying to your kind note of last November enclosing the page of "poemets" 'old age echoes'2—which you were so good as to offer me at the price of £20—

My excuse is just that I have been very much away from London this winter & have run into [arrears?] all round (if that be an excuse!)—& secondly my unwillingness to do the unwelcome & ungracious thing implied in my being unable to avail myself of the "Poemets."

I am so extremely sorry not to see my way to utilizing them for my Review & I accordingly3 return herewith the printed proof of them as you now request—

Yours very faithfully
James Knowles4

James Thomas Knowles (1831–1908) was the editor of The Nineteenth Century, a leading British monthly magazine, in which "Fancies at Navesink" was published on August 18, 1885. He was also an architect and the founder of the Metaphysical Society, dedicated to discovering common ground between science and religion.


1. This letter is addressed: To Walt Whitman Eq | Camden | New Jersey | United States of | America—. It is postmarked: London S.W. | [illegible]2 | FE 21 | 90; New York | Mar | 2; Camden, N.J. | Mar | 3 | 9 AM | 18 [illegible] | Rec'd; Paid | F | All. Knowles has initialled the lower left corner of this side of the envelope. [back]

2. Whitman's "Old Age Echoes," a series of four short poems, appeared in Lippincott's Magazine in March 1891 and were reprinted in Goodbye My Fancy (1891). [back]

3. The remainder of the letter, including the signature, is written in the upper left corner of this leaf. [back]

4. The text of this letter has been cancelled with a diagonal line from the upper left to the lower right of the leaf. Just above the date, a rectangular portion of the letter has been removed, possibly for the purpose of saving a name or address. [back]


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