Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 8 September 1887

Date: September 8, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00576

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), 6:44. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Ryan Furlong, Stefan Schöberlein, Caterina Bernardini, and Stephanie Blalock

Camden New Jersey U S America1
Sept. 8 '87—

I send you some additional newer matter for the "Democratic Vistas" volume2—will write you further anent of the Vol. soon—(will write a little Preface)3—Do not bother or think any thing further of the Swinburne article4we do not here—send me word if the new matter now sent reaches you safely—I am ab't as usual—

Walt Whitman

Ernest Percival Rhys (1859–1946) was a British author and editor; he founded the Everyman's Library series of inexpensive reprintings of popular works. He included a volume of Whitman's poems in the Canterbury Poets series and two volumes of Whitman's prose in the Camelot series for Walter Scott publishers. For more information about Rhys, see Joel Myerson, "Rhys, Ernest Percival (1859–1946)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


1. This letter is addressed: Ernest Rhys | Care of Walter Scott Publisher | 24 Warwick Lane Paternoster | row | London England. It is postmarked: Camden, N.J. | Sep. 8 | 8 PM | 87; Philadelphia, Pa. | (?) | 1887 | Paid; London E.C. | (?) | Sp 19 87 | AF. [back]

2. The new material for Democratic Vistas which Whitman enclosed was reprinted in November Boughs (1888), 95–96. [back]

3. Whitman enclosed the "little Preface" and provided detailed printing instructions in his letter to Ernest Rhys of September 11, 1887[back]

4. In the August issue of The Fortnightly Review, Swinburne repudiated his earlier praise of Whitman. Apparently, a reporter named Davis from the Philadelphia Press, of which Talcott Williams was the editor, questioned Whitman on his reactions. The interview appeared in the Press on August 3, 1887. [back]


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