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In 1879, when Walt Whitman was sixty, he made a trip to the West—first to Kansas to attend the quartercentennial celebration of Kansas settlement, then on to Denver and the Rockies. Biographers have only briefly reported this trip, if they have dealt with it at all; here for the first time is a thorough reconstruction of Whitman’s western experience. From his own extensive research in newspapers of the period, as well as from Whitman’s published daybooks and notebooks and his collected correspondence. Walter H. Eitner is able to piece together a well detailed itinerary, and to compare the record of the actual journey with Whitman’s imaginative account in Specimen Days.

This study in part constitutes a criticism of the sections of Specimen Days dealing with the West by examining the ways in which Whitman reordered his experiences to have them support a bardic pose he wished to maintain. For the first time Whitman’s three journalist traveling companions—whom Whitman did not even mention in Specimen Days—are fully on record. This account also shows Whitman very much his own press agent, engaging in a wide range of selfpromoting activities such as writing his own interviews and sending back to the press in the East accounts of his whereabouts, his health, and his plans.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Chronology and Itinerary
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. 1. The Five Travelers
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 2. From Camden to Lawrence
  2. pp. 11-24
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  1. 3. Whitman and the Kansas Silver Wedding
  2. pp. 25-36
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  1. 4. Topeka and Westward to Denver
  2. pp. 37-48
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  1. 5. Denver and the Rockies
  2. pp. 49-62
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  1. 6. Heading Eastward
  2. pp. 63-70
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  1. 7. St. Louis
  2. pp. 71-88
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  1. 8. Back in Camden
  2. pp. 89-96
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 97-116
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  1. Bibliographical Essay
  2. pp. 117-118
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 119-123
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780700630882
Related ISBN
9780700602124
MARC Record
OCLC
1227916133
Pages
140
Launched on MUSE
2020-12-28
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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