Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Joseph B. Gilder, 18 March [1887]

Date: March 18, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00428

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. 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.

Related item: Whitman wrote this letter on the back of a March 17, 1887, letter he received from Gilder. See uva.00475.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Kevin McMullen, Marie Ernster, Stephanie Blalock, and Amanda J. Axley

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March 18

Yes—I have rec'd such a letter from T1—& do not object to your itemizing it—though it must be done carefully—Some such way as the following?

—Walt Whitman

Tennyson has written an affectionate and thankful letter to Walt Whitman on the comments of the latter—see Critic of Jan. 1st upon the supplementary 'Locksley Hall.' Is not this the only instance known of the English Laureate formally 'noticing a notice'?2

Joseph Benson Gilder (1858–1936) was, with his siblings Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909) and Jeannette Leonard Gilder (1849–1916), editor of Scribner's Monthly and the Critic.


1. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) succeeded William Wordsworth as poet laureate of Great Britain in 1850. The intense male friendship described in In Memoriam, which Tennyson wrote after the death of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, possibly influenced Whitman's poetry. Tennyson began a correspondence with Whitman on July 12, 1871. Although Tennyson extended an invitation for Whitman to visit England, Whitman never acted on the offer. [back]

2. Whitman's letter is written on the verso of a letter from Gilder of March 17, 1887, in which Gilder requested permission to mention the Tennyson letter of January 15, 1887. On March 26, under "Notes," The Critic printed Whitman's suggested paragraph almost verbatim. [back]


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