Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Ernest Rhys, 3 February 1887

Date: February 3, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00584

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), 6:37. 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
Feb. 3 '87

I yesterday sent you as copy, a volume of Spec. Days,2 & a letter3—please notify me if they both come safely—I don't think of any thing I want to add to the suggestions in the letter—If any thing further occurs to me, I will write to you—It strikes me that from a business & publisher's point of view your folks w'd do well to have the three volumes viz: L of G as you already have it & then the two prose books "Spec: Days" & "Democratic Vistas"4


W W


Correspondent:
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).

Notes:

1. This letter is addressed: Ernest Rhys | 59 Cheyne Walk | Chelsea | London England. It is postmarked: (?) | Feb | 3 | (?); Philadelphia, Pa. | Feb | 3 | 4 PM | 1887 | Transit. [back]

2. The first issue of Whitman's Specimen Days and Collect was published by the Philadelphia firm of Rees Welsh and Company in 1882. The second issue was published by David McKay. Many of the autobiographical notes, sketches, and essays that focus on the poet's life during and beyond the Civil War had been previously published in periodicals or in Memoranda During the War (1875–1876). For more information on Specimen Days, see George Hutchinson and David Drews "Specimen Days [1882]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. See Whitman's letter to Rhys of February 2, 1887[back]

4. Whitman's Democratic Vistas was first published in 1871 in New York by J.S. Redfield. The volume was an eighty-four-page pamphlet that consisted of three essays titled "Democracy," "Personalism," and "Orbic Literature," all of which Whitman intended to publish in the Galaxy magazine. Only "Democracy" and "Personalism" appeared in the magazine. For more information on Democratic Vistas, see Arthur Wrobel, "Democratic Vistas [1871]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]


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