Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Ford Madox Brown to Walt Whitman, October or November 1876

Date: October or November 1876

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07442

Source: The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, 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.

Related item: This letter has a line drawn through it, and Whitman used the verso to write notes and draft titles.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster and Amanda J. Axley

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I beg to acknow [illegible] with thanks the safe receipt of your two highly-prized volumes "Leaves of Grass" & "The Two Rivulets"1 along with the portraits & the other extracts from your writings2

With respect & high esteem
Believe me
My dear Sir
Yours very faithfully
Ford Madox Brown

Walt Whitman

Born in France, Ford Madox Brown (1821–1893) was a British painter and designer. He was also the father-in-law of the English editor William Michael Rossetti.


1. Published as a "companion volume" to the 1876 Author's edition of Leaves of Grass, Two Rivulets consisted of an "intertwining of the author's characteristic verse, alternated throughout with prose," as one critic from the The New York Daily Tribune wrote on February 19, 1876 (4). For more information on Two Rivulets, see Frances E. Keuling-Stout, "Two Rivulets, Author's Edition [1876]" and "Preface to Two Rivulets [1876]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. Whitman sent the books to Brown on October 24, 1876, and Brown would have likely received them in November of 1876 (Whitman's Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]


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