Title: The Nineteenth Century
Author: Susan Belasco
Publication information: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008.
Whitman Archive ID: per.00150
After W.H. Alden, the editor of Harper's Monthly Magazine, wrote Whitman in May 1885 that the series of poems of "Fancies at Navesink" would not "make a favorable impression upon our readers," Whitman sent this cluster of eight poems to the English journal Nineteenth Century. Edited by James Thomas Knowles, Jr., the Nineteenth Century was published in London from 1877-1900. The magazine, designed to be a review of science, politics, religion, and literature, was, from the first, liberal in outlook and known for controversial articles and essays. Contributors included a range of major British figures, such as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Huxley, Algernon Swinburne, an admirer of Whitman's early work, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Not only was the Nineteenth Century a commercial success, it was a major periodical of the era. Whitman's "Fancies at Navesink" thus appeared in a journal many considered to be a literary power in England and America.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition, ed. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley (New York: New York University Press, 1965).
Joel Myerson, Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993).
Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden. Vol. 1 (Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1906).
Walter Houghton, "The Nineteenth Century," Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1900) (London: Routledge, 1999).