Life & Letters


About this Document

Title: Walt Whitman to William D. O'Connor, [January 1868]

Date: January 1868

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:13. For a detailed description of discrepancies between this electronic edition and the print source, see our statement of editorial policy.

Location: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00277

William—bring in, in your letter to Mr. Rossetti.1

I met Mr. Whitman a few evenings since. He has received your letter of December 16th. He duly received the previous ones also, making three letters from you.2 He is entirely satisfied with your action, & with Mr. Hotten's,3 in regard to the London selection & reprint, and seems pleased with the condition into which that enterprise has been shaped. He spoke with deep appreciation of you & your letters.


1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "William O'Connor, | Light House Bureau."

Perhaps because O'Connor's correspondence with William Michael Rossetti had preceded his own, Walt Whitman encouraged his friend to reply to Rossetti's letter of December 16, 1867. When O'Connor wrote to Rossetti on January 20, 1867, he included Whitman's paragraph with only a few unimportant alterations; see Rossetti Papers (London: Sands & Co, 1903), 342. [back]

2. Walt Whitman replied to these letters on November 22, and December 3, 1867. [back]

3. John Camden Hotten (1832–1873) printed Swinburne's Poems and Ballads when another publisher withdrew after the book caused a furor. Perhaps because he had lived in the United States from 1848 to 1856, Hotten introduced to an English audience such writers as Lowell, Artemus Ward, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Bret Harte. After his death, his business was purchased by Chatto and Windus. In his letter to Conway on December 5, 1866, O'Connor had suggested Hotten as the English publisher of Walt Whitman: "Seems to me the courage that prints Laus Veneris might dare this" (Yale). Whitman consented to the sale of Hotten's English edition of Leaves of Grass in his February 17, 1868 letter to Moncure D. Conway. [back]


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