Skip to main content

Walt Whitman to John Addington Symonds, 20 June 1886

 loc_vm.02229_large.jpg  loc_vm.02230_large.jpg My dear Sir

I write a line to introduce & authenticate a valued personal & literary friend of mine, Wm Sloane Kennedy, who will send you this. He is every way friendly & rapport with "Leaves of Grass" & with me.

Walt Whitman

John Addington Symonds (1840–1893), a prominent biographer, literary critic, and poet in Victorian England, was author of the seven-volume history Renaissance in Italy, as well as Walt Whitman—A Study (1893), and a translator of Michelangelo's sonnets. But in the smaller circles of the emerging upper-class English homosexual community, he was also well known as a writer of homoerotic poetry and a pioneer in the study of homosexuality, or sexual inversion as it was then known. See Andrew C. Higgins, "Symonds, John Addington [1840–1893]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This letter is addressed: John Addington Symonds | Am Hof Davos | Platz Graubünden | Switzerland. [back]
Back to top