Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Herbert H. Gilchrist to Walt Whitman, 31 March 1887

Date: March 31, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03928

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.

Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Related item: This letter from Gilchrist is written in two columns on the same side of the leaf, the letter beginning in the right column and concluding in the left column. An image of the entire leaf is unavailable, but images of each column are provided, in reading order. On the back, Whitman wrote a letter to Susan Stafford on April 12, 1887. This letter was intended as an enclosure for Stafford. See loc.05995.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kevin McMullen, and Stephanie Blalock



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C/. Leonard M. Brown.1
THE GLEBE HOUSE.
HUNSTANTON.S.C.
NORFOLK.

31st March 1887.

My Dear Walt,

As you see by my address I am staying with a great friend of yours. You may see him this summer for he is going to America at the end of April,—going out as a schoolmaster to settle somewhere up the Hudson. He is an uncommonly good fellow, quiet earnest serious soul and very practical, full of solid worth, whose knowledge and attainments are sure to be valued in America. His father is a clergyman, and this son of his reads Leaves of Grass silently & unobserved by the rest of his orthodox family.

I posted a copy of my book2 to you about a week ago: I hope that you will read it and tell me how you [like it?].

Andrew Lang3 wrote a leader in the Daily News about it and fine things have been said in the London, and Scotch Press particularly. As yet, I have not taken my passage, but I hope to come early in May, and to spend a nice slice of my time near you in Camden. I consider that your poems have gained ground here perceptibly within the last 2 years. Leonard Brown sends his love &

with love from
Herbert H. Gilchrist.


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. Leonard M. Brown, a young English schoolteacher and friend of Herbert Gilchrist, came to America in May, 1887. On March 31, 1887 Gilchrist wrote to Whitman: "he is an uncommonly good fellow, quiet earnet serious soul and very practical, full of solid worth, whose knowledge and attainments are sure to be valued in America. His father is a clergyman, and this son of his reads Leaves of Grass silently & unobserved by the sect of his orthodox family." An entry in Whitman's Commonplace Book on August 29 reads: "Leonard Morgan Brown goes back to Croton-on-Hudson—has been here ab't a week" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). See also Whitman's letter to Leonard Brown of November 19, 1887; his letter to Herbert Gilchrist of December 12, 1886, note 2; and his letter to Leonard Brown of February 7, 1890. [back]

2. Whitman noted the receipt of Herbert's book, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings, on April 5 (Whitman's Commonplace Book [Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.]). [back]

3. Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was a Scottish poet, novelist, and critic, well-known for his fairy-tale collections. [back]


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