Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Charles Wells Moulton to Walt Whitman, 28 November 1888

Date: November 28, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03272

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 annotations, "answered Dec 1 '88 by HLT.," and "See notes Nov 30, '88.," are in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Kirby Little, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock



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The Magazine of Poetry
C.W. Moulton,
Editor
DICTATED
Buffalo, N.Y.
November 28th 1888

Mr. Walt Whitman
Camden, N.J.
Dear Sir:—

Sometime since I wrote you concerning a selection from your poems which I wished to publish in the first number of the Magazine of Poetry. Dr. Buckle1 of London, Ont., has kindly furnished a biographical notice of yourself, and with your permission, I would like to make the selections from your poems. I enclose letter from your publisher in which Mr. McKay2 expresses his approval of our new magazine.

Trusting to hear from you at your early convenience, I remain,

Yours very respectfully,
C. W. Moulton
(L.M)


Correspondent:
Charles Wells Moulton (1859–1913) was an American poet and the editor of the Magazine of Poetry and Literary Review.

Notes:

1. Moulton means Dr. Bucke (instead of Buckle). Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian physician and psychiatrist who grew close to Whitman after reading Leaves of Grass in 1867 (and later memorizing it) and meeting the poet in Camden a decade later. Even before meeting Whitman, Bucke claimed in 1872 that a reading of Leaves of Grass led him to experience "cosmic consciousness" and an overwhelming sense of epiphany. Bucke became the poet's first biographer with Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and he later served as one of his medical advisors and literary executors. For more on the relationship of Bucke and Whitman, see Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).  [back]

2. David McKay (1860–1918) took over Philadelphia-based publisher Rees Welsh's bookselling and publishing businesses in 1881–2. McKay and Rees Welsh published the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass after opposition from the Boston District Attorney prompted James R. Osgood & Company of Boston, the publisher Whitman had originally contracted with for publication of the volume, to withdraw. McKay also went on to publish Specimen Days & Collect, November Boughs, Gems from Walt Whitman, and Complete Prose Works. For more information about McKay, see Joel Myerson, "McKay, David (1860–1918)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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