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Richard Maurice Bucke to Walt Whitman, 27 March 1883


Proofs of bulk of app. to pt​ ii received this day and now returned—please send revises of french​ and German extracts—Keep sending plate proofs as you get them—we are all well

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Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian physician and psychiatrist who grew close to Whitman after reading Leaves of Grass in 1867 (and later memorizing it) and meeting the poet in Camden a decade later. Even before meeting Whitman, Bucke claimed in 1872 that a reading of Leaves of Grass led him to experience "cosmic consciousness" and an overwhelming sense of epiphany. Bucke became the poet's first biographer with Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), and he later served as one of his medical advisors and literary executors. For more on the relationship of Bucke and Whitman, see Howard Nelson, "Bucke, Richard Maurice," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. This postal card is addressed: Walt Whitman | 431 Stevens Street | Camden | New Jersey | U.S.A. It is postmarked: CAMDEN, N.J. | MAR | 30 | 9 AM | RECD.; LONDON | AM | MR 28 | 83 | CANADA. [back]
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