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


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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