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Edward Dowden to Walt Whitman, 31 August 1888

 loc.01501.001_large.jpg My dear W. Whitman,

Allow me to introduce to you Mr Lewis Fry,1 Member of Parliament for Bristol City, who is about to travel in the United States.

We rejoice to hear that your health is better, & that you are able  loc.01501.002_large.jpg to work at your "November Boughs"

Most truly yours E. Dowden.  loc.01501.003_large.jpg  loc.01501.004_large.jpg See notes Nov 21 — 1888

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).


  • 1. Lewis Fry (1832–1921) was a British lawyer and Liberal Unionist politician who served as a Member of Parliament for Bristol for three terms between 1878 and 1900. [back]
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