Whitman, Walt (1819-1892) Leaves of Grass, Presentation Copy, Death-bed Edition.
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Whitman, Walt (1819-1892) Leaves of Grass, Presentation Copy, Death-bed Edition. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1891-2. Octavo, portrait inserted, bound in the original heavy gray paper wrappers, with printed yellow spine label; the 'Deathbed Edition,' is the ninth separate and the most complete edition of Leaves of Grass, arranged and revised by Whitman; presentation copy, inscribed by one of Whitman's friends, 'Presented by Walt. Whitman to his friend William Ingram. In the Year 1892 while sick in bed, before he passed away. It is one of ten of the last edition, taken from the printer before they were bound'; front few leaves detached, old tape discoloration to presentation leaf, spine worn with loss at the head, 8 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.
'The first copies received by Whitman were bound in a brown paper wrapper which he considered to be flimsy, so further copies were bound in a heavier gray paper wrapper," Myerson; Wells & Goldsmith, pp. 34–35; 'This issue is extremely rare and did not exceed fifty copies.' BAL 21441.
"Ingram left. W. said of him: 'He is a man of the Thomas Paine stripe --full of benevolent impulses, of radicalism, of the desire to alleviate the sufferings of the world --especially the sufferings of prisoners in jails, who are his protégés. He is single-minded-morally of an austere type: not various enough to be interesting --yet always so noble he must be respected. He is a questioner --a fierce interrogator: I am disturbed by his boisterous questions: rattled by them, as the boys say: I am not fond of being catechized --indeed, rather run from it: I am not fond of questions --any questions, in short, that require answers. Ingram plies me with his anti-theological questions --asks, asks, will not stop, let go.' Ingram had said to W. about Reade's book: 'It will show you how a man who was in got out.' W. was merry over the matter. 'I never was in,' he said, 'therefore I had no reason to come out. I never read books that have to do with such controversy, the more to muddy my brain.'" (Quoted from Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden (March 28-July 14, 1888), Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1906, vol. I, page 183ff.)
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