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

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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