Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 15 March 1887

Date: March 15, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00577

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), 6:39. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

Camden New Jersey America1
March 15 1887

My dear Ernest Rhys

Here is for your edition, a special concluding note2 to "Specimen Days"—a short Preface for it I have already sent you3—also I suppose you have rec'd the parcel of pictures I sent you—Nothing very new with me—I have been lately ab't the same as usual, but am quite unwell to-day—I shall send an additional paper or so to eke out the "Democratic Vistas" volume—I told you in the former note that I gave you power to decide in such exigencies as always occur in book publishing, & I confirm it—

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 | 59 Cheyene Walk | Chelsea | London | England. It is postmarked: Camden | Mar 15 | 6 PM | 1887; Philadelphia, Pa. | Mar 15 | 1887 | Paid; London (?) | 7 T | Mr 2 (?) | 87. [back]

2. Included is an "Additional Note," which Whitman reprinted in November Boughs (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1888), 94–95. According to Whitman's Commonplace Book, he enclosed a receipt for "10 guineas," which he had received on the previous day. He made no mention of his health in the Commonplace Book on this date (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]

3. Whitman sent the Preface with his letter to Rhys of March 8, 1887[back]


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