“Christmas at ‘Grace,” Life Illustrated NS Vol. 1, no. 13 (January 26, 1856). Folio. Graphic Arts Collection 2017 in process. Walt Whitman’s unsigned contribution is a critical review of the Christmas service at Grace Episcopal Church, occupying nearly two of the four columns on the front page.
Jason Stacy writes, “The phrenologists Orson Squire Fowler (1809–1887), Lorenzo Niles Fowler (1811–1896), and Samuel R. Wells (1820–1875) published Life Illustrated: A Journal of Entertainment, Improvement, and Progress between 1854 and 1861, after which the newspaper merged with the American Phrenological Journal.
Life Illustrated was one of the earliest periodicals to review Whitman’s first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855), and the review described the poet as “a perfect loafer; yet a thoughtful loafer, an amiable loafer, an able loafer.” The journal also printed Emerson’s famous letter to Whitman that began “I greet you at the beginning of a great career . . .” in October 1856, and Whitman published this letter in the second edition of Leaves of Grass (1856).” http://whitmanarchive.org/published/periodical/journalism/tei/per.00312.html
Between November 1855 and August 1856, Whitman published a number of items in Life Illustrated on topics ranging from the opera to working-class housing to the English language as the nation’s “mightiest inheritance.” The Graphic Arts collection recently acquired a number of issues of the newspaper with his contributions.
Here are a few:
“The Circus,” Life Illustrated NS Vol. 2, no. 18 (August 30, 1856). Folio. Graphic Arts Collection 2017 in process. Walt Whitman’s contribution, unsigned, describes his experiences at a performance of Dan Rice’s circus and occupies one and a half of the four columns on the editorial page.
“Voltaire,” Life Illustrated NS Vol. 2, no. 2 (May 10, 1856). Folio. Graphic Arts Collection 2017 in process. Walt Whitman’s attributed contribution is an appreciation of the radical Voltaire, occupying nearly two columns on the front page.
“The Opera,” Life Illustrated NS Vol. 1, no 2 (November 10, 1855). Folio. Graphic Arts Collection 2017 in process. Walt Whitman’s first contribution, unsigned, occupies three of the four columns on the front page.