WHITMAN, Walt. Autograph letter signed ("Walt Whitman") to William Livingston Alden, Associate Editor of the new York Citizen, Washington, D.C., 10 August 1867. 1½ pages, 8vo, imperceptible neat repair along one fold, otherwise fine.
WHITMAN AND ROSSETTI. From the capitol--his place of residence for eleven years--Whitman acknowledges the receipt of a letter from Alden, announcing that the Citizen will shortly be publishing William Michael Rossetti's article on Whitman. The poet had long been admired in certain circles in England including Swinburne and Rossetti, and the latter had published "Walt Whitman's Poems" in the July 6 issue of the London Chronicle, in which he maintained that eaves of Grass was "the largest poetic work of our period" and the work of "a very original and extraordinary genius" (Kaplan, p.323). The article, widely circulated, considerably strengthened Whitman's reputation in his native country. Here, the poet expresses his gratitude: "Accept--for yourself, the Citizen, & Gen. Halpine [editor]--my sincere thanks for your kindness. I fully appreciated it. As I have not at my control, at this moment, any bound copies of Leaves of Grass, would you allow me to send you a copy in paper I forward it by same mail..." Provenance: Mrs. Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby's, 23 April 1986, lot 176).
While he was a forceful advocate for Whitman, it remained Rossetti's intention to publish only a selection from Leaves of Grass in England, and he insisted that some of Whitman's coarser language be altered for sensitive Victorian sensibilities. Not in Correspondence, ed. Miller, and apparently unpublished.