Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to William Michael Rossetti, 23 March [1876]

Date: March 23, 1876

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00344

Source: The Walt Whitman Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:33. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Ashley Lawson, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad

Camden, N. Jersey—U. S. America—
March 231

Yours2 of March 53 recd. with enc. —Books will be sent hence by Baldwin's Express (office in London, H. Starr & Co. 22 Moorgate st)—will probably arrive there somewhere ab't 10th or 12th April.

I sent a set ( L of G and Two Riv. Two Vols. in one package) to you by mail March 15—& another set two Vols. same date, to Mrs. G[ilchrist]4—but have since learn'd that such packages are overweight, & fear they may not have been forwarded from N. Y.

I wrote you letter March 17—I sent a single Vol. (Two Riv) by mail, March 20—I continue about the same.



1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "W M Rossetti | 56 Euston Sq | London | n w | England." It is postmarked: "Camden | Mar | 23 | N.J.; London N.W. | C 10 | Paid | (?)| 76." [back]

2. William Michael Rossetti (1829–1915), brother of Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti, was an English editor and a champion of Whitman's work. In 1868, Rossetti edited Whitman's Poems, selected from the 1867 Leaves of Grass. Whitman referred to Rossetti's edition as a "horrible dismemberment of my book" in his August 12, 1871, letter to Frederick S. Ellis. Nonetheless, the edition provided a major boost to Whitman's reputation, and Rossetti would remain a staunch supporter for the rest of Whitman's life, drawing in subscribers to the 1876 Leaves of Grass and fundraising for Whitman in England. For more on Whitman's relationship with Rossetti, see Sherwood Smith, "Rossetti, William Michael (1829–1915)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. William Michael Rossetti's letter is apparently lost. [back]

4. These transactions are confirmed in Whitman's Commonplace Book (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]


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