Published Works


About this Item

Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine

Creator: Susan Belasco

Whitman Archive ID: per.00100

Source: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Susan Belasco, and Kevin McMullen

Whitman met Richard Watson Gilder, an assistant editor at the successful Scribner's Monthly in New York in 1877. Although Gilder was an admirer of Whitman and his poetry, Josiah Gilbert Holland, the Puritanical editor of Scribner's, was not. Holland once called Whitman "a wretched old fraud," and Whitman had had little success with the magazine under his editorship. But after Holland's death in 1881, the more liberal Gilder became the editor of the periodical, which was renamed The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. From 1887-1890, Whitman published two prose pieces and five poems in the magazine. "Father Taylor and Oratory" was published in February 1887; the next year Gilder invited Whitman to contribute a compilation of articles about his experiences as a volunteer nurse for the Union armies. These articles, "Army Hospitals and Cases: Memoranda at the Time, 1863-1866" had first appeared in a series for the New York Weekly Graphic. Whitman told his friend Horace Traubel that "The Century under Gilder has always accepted my pieces and paid for them." Certainly the Century provided an important publication venue for Whitman at the end of his life.


John, Arthur. The Best Years of the Century: Richard Watson Gilder, Scribner's Monthly, and the Century Magazine, 1870-1909. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981.

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1865-1885. Vol. 3. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.

Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.

Scholnick, Robert. "Whitman and the Magazines: Some Documentary Evidence." American Literature 44 (1972): 221-246.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. Edited by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley. New York: New York University Press, 1965.


"Twilight." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, December 1887, 264

"Old Age's Lambent Peaks." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, September 1888, 735

"My 71st Year." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, November 1889 , 31

"Old Age's Ship and Crafty Death's." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, February 1890, 553

"A Twilight Song." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, May 1890 , 27


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