Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Oscar Wilde and Joseph M. Stoddart, 18 January [1882]

Date: January 18, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00277

Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 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: Stefan Schoeberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Eder Jaramillo, and Nicole Gray

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431 Stevens Street
Jan: 181

Walt Whitman will be in from 2 till 3½ this afternoon, & will be most happy to see Mr Wilde & Mr Stoddart2


1. This letter is endorsed (in unknown hand): "1882." [back]

2. In his Commonplace Book Whitman noted, "Oscar Wilde here a good part of the afternoon" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). An account of this interview appeared on the following day in the Philadelphia Press. Whitman was evidently pleased with Wilde's letter of March 1, 1882, in which he quoted Swinburne's praise of Whitman: "I have by no manner of means relaxed my admiration of his noblest works" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden [New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915], 2:288). The quotation was from a letter written by Swinburne to Wilde on February 2 (Feinberg). Note also the letter from Whitman to Benjamin Ticknor of December 18, 1881. The meeting of Wilde and Whitman was satirized by Helen Gray Cone in "Narcissus in Camden," The Century Magazine, 25 (November 1882), 157–159. [back]


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