Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William Michael Rossetti to Walt Whitman, 11 January 1886

Date: January 11, 1886

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03612

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, " recd Jan: 25 '86 £33.16.6," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray

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11 Jany/86.

Dear Whitman,

This note is written beforehand, in expectation of my paying-in tomorrow at a Post-Office the £33.16.6. wh. I named to you in my recent letter.1 The postal order, on my obtaining it, will be enclosed herein, & dispatched to you. Since the date of my last something further has come in: it will be accounted for at a future opportunity.

On 13 Jany I expect to leave London, & stay some four weeks with my family at the Clarendon Hotel, Ventnor, I. of Wight.

Yours with affectionate regard,
W. M. Rossetti

William Michael Rossetti (1829–1915), brother of Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti, was an English editor and a champion of Whitman's work. In 1868, Rossetti edited Whitman's Poems, selected from the 1867 Leaves of Grass. Whitman referred to Rossetti's edition as a "horrible dismemberment of my book" in his August 12, 1871, letter to Frederick S. Ellis. Nonetheless, the edition provided a major boost to Whitman's reputation, and Rossetti would remain a staunch supporter for the rest of Whitman's life, drawing in subscribers to the 1876 Leaves of Grass and fundraising for Whitman in England. For more on Whitman's relationship with Rossetti, see Sherwood Smith, "Rossetti, William Michael (1829–1915)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. See Rossetti's letter to Whitman of January 5[back]


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