Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 29 March 1876

Date: March 29, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: pri.00017

Source: Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, Princeton, N.J. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, Eric Conrad, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens st.
cor West
N Jersey
U S America
March 29 '76

Dear friend,

As I should like to have you prepared for any thing that might happen, now or in future—As it may be that out of this hubbub some one in London may take a notion to rush & crudely reprint my books—I send you (same mail with this) full & corrected copies of my two volumes, prepared for the printers, for a London edition, with an especial Preface note—& altogether as I should like to have the books brought out, for permanent reading & investigation in Europe.

My dear friend, I authorise you to make any arrangement about publishing, terms, &c. you think best—only the books must be printed verbatim & entire, if at all, & in Two Volumes—(You will see what I have authorized to be put at bottom of title pages.)1

Dowden wrote to me lately a word on this matter, relating however only to Two Rivulets (proposed Chatto. & Windus, at a venture)2—I shall tell D. that I have placed these copies in your hands—& shall (if you have no objection) consider him to be join'd with you in the matter of deciding, negotiating, terms, &c. of the publishing, (should such come to pass)—& whatever you twain think well to do, under those conditions, in said matter, I hereby warrant & endorse.

Walt Whitman


1. Nothing came of this proposed English edition until 1881, when Leaves of Grass was published by David Bogue. [back]

2. Dowden made this proposal on February 16. He wrote again on March 16, after receiving Whitman's new edition (see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [1906–1996], 9 vols., 1:303 and 1:122–123). [back]


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