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 created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from The Letters of Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, ed. Artem Lozynsky (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

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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