Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Jessie E. Taylor to Walt Whitman, [7 August] 1888

Date: [August 7], 1888

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04265

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, "S. N. Oct. 8, 1888.," is in an unknown hand.

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

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Girls Grammar School.1


You have had, I do not doubt, many a letter of warm appreciation from people of eminent talent, but I am only what I think in America you call a "school ma'am" and of no "eminence," but I expect its the average intellect you most want to touch as they form the bulk of the living beings. I have only had the pleasure so far of reading two of your books "Specimen Days" and "Leaves of Grass" They are both moral tonics in their joyous healthiness and seem to me just the antidote that is needed to all the morbid self analysis and sickly sentimentality of the present age. I never read them without feeling more strongly than ever what a beautiful, sane thing human life is. I wish, as I am a woman, you had told us more of your views about us, I wonder what your ideal of woman is. I should not have ventured to write to you only I see you are "alone" and that is a word wh always touches me specially now, when as an English Teacher in a new land I am without one friend with me.

A thousand thanks my dear Walt Whitman for all you have written, I shall always be your debtor.

Jessie E. Taylor

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman Esqre | Camden | New Jersey | United States, America. It is postmarked: PAID | ALL | MARYBOROUGH | AU 7 | 88 | QUEENSLAND; BRISBANE | A | AU 10 | 88 | QUEENSLAND; NEW YORK | OCT | 5 | PAID | E | ALL; CAMDEN, N.J. | OCT | 6 | 6AM | 1888 | REC'D. [back]


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