Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Joseph B. Gilder to Walt Whitman, 17 March 1887

Date: March 17, 1887

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00475

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.

Editorial notes: The annotation, "over," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Related item: Whitman wrote his response to Gilder on the back of this letter. See uva.00428.

Contributors to digital file: Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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The Critic
New York
17 March 1887.

Dear Mr. Whitman:

It is said you have received a letter1 from Tennyson,2 lately. If it refers to your article3 in The Critic, & isn't personal, would you mind our mentioning the fact?4

Sincerely yours
J B Gilder

Walt Whitman, Esq.
Camden, N.J.

Joseph Benson Gilder (1858–1936) was, with his sister Jeannette Leonard Gilder (1849–1916), co-editor of The Critic, a literary magazine.


1. See Tennyson's letter to Whitman of January 15, 1887[back]

2. 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. Whitman wrote to Tennyson in 1871 or late 1870, probably shortly after the visit of Cyril Flower in December, 1870, but the letter is not extant (see Thomas Donaldson, Walt Whitman the Man [New York: F. P. Harper, 1896], 223). Tennyson's first letter to Whitman is dated July 12, 1871. Although Tennyson extended an invitation for Whitman to visit England, Whitman never acted on the offer. [back]

3. Whitman's "A Word about Tennyson" was published in The Critic on January 1, 1887. [back]

4. Whitman responded on the verso of this letter, giving permission for The Critic to mention the letter from Tennyson, and included prose to use for the notice. On March 26, under "Notes," The Critic printed Whitman's suggested paragraph almost verbatim. [back]


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