Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to David McKay, 26 November 1888

Date: November 26, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: med.00857

Source: The location of this manuscript is unknown. Ted Genoways derives his transcription from a facsimile of the letter that is printed in Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Volume 3, ed. Sculley Bradley (New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914), facing page 182. The transcription presented here is derived from The Correspondence, ed. Ted Genoways (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 7:94–95. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Breanna Himschoot, Stephanie Blalock, and Alex Ashland





[11.26.88]1


— double
— dash
Walt Whitmanlarge
———
Completelargest
———
Poems & Proselarge
———
plain | small | dash

——————————


Leaves of Grass
Specimen Days
and Collect
November Boughs
With Sands at Seventy
Annex to L of G


— dash
Portraits from Life.&
Autograph
Edition 1888: '9
— double
— dash

for a label for back of book the above (in blue pencil) is a facsimile of the size of the back of book, wh' you must get inside—

—If convenient set it up & bring me around a proof this afternoon


Correspondent:
David McKay (1860–1918) took over Philadelphia-based publisher Rees Welsh's bookselling and publishing businesses in 1881–2. McKay and Rees Welsh published the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass after opposition from the Boston District Attorney prompted James R. Osgood & Company of Boston, the publisher Whitman had originally contracted with for publication of the volume, to withdraw. McKay also went on to publish Specimen Days & Collect, November Boughs, Gems from Walt Whitman, and Complete Prose Works. For more information about McKay, see Joel Myerson, "McKay, David (1860–1918)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. Traubel writes: "Changed his cover design at McKay's [at] my suggestion. Instead of 'Walt Whitman's Complete Prose and Poems' above and specified contents below—author's edition, portraits, 1888–9—all that—he is satisfied to have 'Walt Whitman's Complete Works' at the top, 'Poetry and Prose' in centre, 'Author's Edition 1888–9' below" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Monday, November 26, 1888). The date of this note can be further verified by Whitman's November 27, 1888, letter to his binder Frederick Oldach in which he writes: "I will send you the label to put on the backs—I am now having them printed—." Traubel noted: "W's design for the cover was given back to me by Oldach. I keep it among my records" (Monday, November 26, 1888). [back]


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.