3 March 2004
ROSSETTI, William Michael -- WHITMAN, Walt (1819-1892). Leaves of Grass. Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860-1861.
8° (191 x 121mm). Original brown cloth (part of spine cracked and detached, front cover detached), brown morocco-backed slipcase. Provenance: William M. Rossetti (with two inscriptions on front end-paper, one in the hand of J.C. Hotton which reads 'W.M. Rossetti from J.C. Hotton 1867;' another by William Rossetti which reads 'Was given to me when I was about to compile my selection from Whitman, published by Hotton. W.M.R. 1905.' With annotations and editorial changes in Rossetti's hand to Whitman's printed text and in margins on p.5). Purchased from James Drake, New York, 20 March 1940, $75. Exhibited: Grolier Club (1950s exhibition label loosely inserted).
WILLIAM M. ROSSETTI'S COPY OF THE THIRD AMERICAN EDITION OF WHITMAN'S POEMS, with an inscription and editorial annotations by Rossetti. Presented by Whitman's first English publisher J.C. Hotton, to William Rossetti prior to his editing the first English edition of Whitman's poems. Since their first publication in 1855, many of Whitman's poems had been materially revised by him. In the preface to the English edition, Rossetti mentions a copy of Leaves of Grass, revised by Whitman's own hand, which he used in making his selection. Some of these changes are noted in Rossetti's hand in this volume, notably in the poem entitled 'Proto-Leaf' which begins the book and which was subtantially altered for later editions.
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