General Series Editors: Gay Wilson Allen and Sculley Bradley
Originally published between 1961 and 1984, and now available in paperback for the first time, the critically acclaimed Collected Writings of Walt Whitman captures every facet of one of America's most important poets.
In discussing letter-writing, Whitman made his own views clear. Simplicity and naturalness were his guidelines. “I like my letters to be personal—very personal—and then stop.” This collection of nearly 3,000 letters written over a half century reveals Whitman the man as no other documents can.
Volume I includes the poet’s correspondence from Washington, DC, during the Civil War, where he nursed wounded and dying soldiers.
Volume II presents the poet during the years he was developing an international reputation. As they came to understand one of the most important American voices of the century, European writers such as Edward Dowden and John Addington Symonds began to correspond with Whitman.
Volume III covers the years in which Whitman radiated a personal and artistic magnetism, despite the paralysis that struck him in 1873. This period was full of important events, including the attempted censoring of Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s renewed friendship with William D. O’Connor, and the arrival in America of Whitman’s unrequited lover, Anne Gilchrist.
Volumes IV and V cover the last seven years of Whitman’s life, giving an almost day-by-day account of his long struggle with various ailments, his stoical acceptance of constant pain, but also his continuing energy.
Volume VI offers updates, corrections, and an index to the preceding volumes in the set.
Praise for the original edition:
“These letters . . . are indispensable for the serious student of American literature.”