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Walt Whitman to Edward Dowden, 22 August 1871

 loc.01488.001_large.jpg Dear Mr. Dowden,

I have received your kind letter,1 & your review in the Westminster,2 & thank you heartily. I wish to write you at more length, & may do so before long. I take real comfort in the thought that I have such friends in  loc.01488.002_large.jpg Ireland, including yourself. I wish to hear more of Mr. Tyrrell,3 whom you speak of.

Walt Whitman  loc.01488.003_large.jpg  loc.01488.004_large.jpg

Edward Dowden (1843–1913), professor of English literature at the University of Dublin, was one of the first to critically appreciate Whitman's poetry, particularly abroad, and was primarily responsible for Whitman's popularity among students in Dublin. In July 1871, Dowden penned a glowing review of Whitman's work in the Westminster Review entitled "The Poetry of Democracy: Walt Whitman," in which Dowden described Whitman as "a man unlike any of his predecessors. . . . Bard of America, and Bard of democracy." In 1888, Whitman observed to Traubel: "Dowden is a book-man: but he is also and more particularly a man-man: I guess that is where we connect" (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Sunday, June 10, 1888, 299). For more, see Philip W. Leon, "Dowden, Edward (1843–1913)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


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