WHITMAN, Walt. Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman, 1855...1888. Authenticated and Personal Book (handled by W.W.) Portraits from Life...Autograph. [Philadelphia, 1888-89].
Large 8o. Titlepage with oval portrait (Linton engraving after G.C. Potter photograph), engraved portrait of Whitman as a young man (used as frontispiece in the 1855 Leaves) bound in at p.28. (First few leaves partially torn, flyleaf with Sarrazin's ex-libris inscription detached, scattered light foxing to a few leaves at beginning and end.) Half dark green morocco and marbled boards (Myerson's Binding A, rebacked at an early date), spine gilt-lettered (exactly copying the text of original printed paper label), uncut (edges a bit worn, front hinge cracked). Provenance: Gabriel Sarrazin, inscribed on flyleaf "Ex libris G. Sarrazin Billets et lettres qui m'out été écrits par Walt Whitman Gabriel Sarrazin."
FIRST EDITION OF THIS "DEFINITIVE" COLLECTION, one of 600 copies printed for the author's use. SIGNED BY WHITMAN ("Walt Whitman") at base of the titlepage of Leaves of Grass, (without the limitation statement added in manuscript by Traubel, as in all copies sent out before February 14, 1889). BOLDLY INSCRIBED BY WHITMAN in ink on front fly-leaf: "Gabriel Sarrazin France from the author Walt Whitman America Jan : 28 1889." BAL 21431; Meyerson A2.7.m.
WHITMAN. Autograph letter signed ("Walt Whitman") to Gabriel Sarrazin, "Camden, New Jersey, U S America," 5 September 1890. 1 page, 4to, neatly pasted to front flyleaf of the volume, folded. "Dear friend G S - Your letter from Noumea [South Pacific] came this forenoon & has quite surprised me - no doubt it will all be better for you - any mark'd move by a man, (we call it in English 'a change of base') will be something of a gain. Still, here, laid up in my old chair & room, waning slightly but surely, pretty fair in physical conditions (had some oysters, ryebread & coffee for breakfast) maintain good spirits - am propelled in wheel chair out door & to the river side nearly every day - & in other respects 'hold the fort' sort o as we might call it -- y'r letter to H. L. Traubel comes here & that to Morris is doubtless rec'd - We will see if this gets through as well...I must be sure to send you a paper now and then to see if they reach you all right - I told you I had y'r essay ab't L of G [Leaves of Grass] Englished, (& it has done me more comfort than you can know) -- & it shall be printed here one of these days (It and our Col. Ingersoll's speech lately are my grand panaceas). I have also a copy of the London Universal Review that prints it in French. I am collecting a little final annex (2nd annex) to be added to L of G. When printed I will send you the sheets - Also an appendix to November Boughs - What can I send you hence?...I am sitting here alone in comfort & the fifth sunny perfect day outside as I glance from the window - Best wishes & love & thanks...." -- WHITMAN. Three autograph postcards signed ("Walt Whitman"), all to Sarrazin, Camden, 4 May 1889, 21 June 1991 and n.d. Together 3 pages, small oblong cards, neatly pasted to flyleaf of the volume. 4 May 1889: "The book 'Poesie Anglaise' safely rec'd -- thanks & thanks again. I am still laid up here...but getting along (as we call it) better and gayer hearted than you might suppose, Am preparing and edition of Leaves of Grass to be put in pocket bookbinding, with fuller text, & shall send you one..." 31 December 1890: "...tomorrow a New Years beginning (& I pray it will be one lucky & blessed to you). Am here yet and much the same -- when I publish anything new I will send you...." N.d.: 26 June 1891: "Heard that you have returned to Paris. If so, write me your address as I have what I want to send you..." -- WHITMAN. Autograph envelope panel, addressed by Whitman to "M Gabriel Sarrazin Magistrate Nouméa Nouvelle Caledonie (Colonies Francaises)."