Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, 19 January 1880

Date: January 19, 1880

Whitman Archive ID: man.00002

Source: Charles Sixsmith Collection at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester. 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 The Letters of Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, ed. Artem Lozynsky (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1977), and supplemented, updated, or created by Whitman Archive staff as appropriate.

Contributors to digital file: Alicia Bones, Eder Jaramillo, Grace Thomas, and Nicole Gray

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Asylum for the Insane,
Jan 19th 1880

My dear Walt

I am going to ask a great favor of you—I want you to write me a sketch of your interior life—especially in relation to the conception and elaboration of "Leaves of Grass" The germanancy and path of such a product as "Leaves of Grass" is a psycological expression almost unique in the history of the race and some record of it ought to remain if possible—I need not explain any further what I want from you for you will understand at once what I mean and you must surely have often thought of putting it upon record1

I hope that you will take this matter into serious and favourable consideration

And I am
Faithfully yours
R M Bucke


1. Apparently Whitman responded only by sending Bucke a list of materials to use in writing the biography (see the letter from Whitman to Bucke of February 3, 1880). [back]


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