Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, [January 1868]

Date: January 1868

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00277

Source: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:13. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

William—bring in, in your letter to Mr. Rossetti.1

I met Mr. Whitman a few evenings since. He has received your letter of December 16th. He duly received the previous ones also, making three letters from you.2 He is entirely satisfied with your action, & with Mr. Hotten's,3 in regard to the London selection & reprint, and seems pleased with the condition into which that enterprise has been shaped. He spoke with deep appreciation of you & your letters.


1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "William O'Connor, | Light House Bureau."

Perhaps because O'Connor's correspondence with William Michael Rossetti had preceded his own, Walt Whitman encouraged his friend to reply to Rossetti's letter of December 16, 1867. When O'Connor wrote to Rossetti on January 20, 1867, he included Whitman's paragraph with only a few unimportant alterations; see Rossetti Papers (London: Sands & Co, 1903), 342. [back]

2. Walt Whitman replied to these letters on November 22, and December 3, 1867. [back]

3. John Camden Hotten (1832–1873) printed Swinburne's Poems and Ballads when another publisher withdrew after the book caused a furor. Perhaps because he had lived in the United States from 1848 to 1856, Hotten introduced to an English audience such writers as Lowell, Artemus Ward, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Bret Harte. After his death, his business was purchased by Chatto and Windus. In his letter to Conway on December 5, 1866, O'Connor had suggested Hotten as the English publisher of Walt Whitman: "Seems to me the courage that prints Laus Veneris might dare this" (Yale). Whitman consented to the sale of Hotten's English edition of Leaves of Grass in his February 17, 1868 letter to Moncure D. Conway. [back]


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

Support the Archive | About the Archive

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