1882. First Edition . Signed. WHITMAN, Walt. Specimen Days & Collect. Philadelphia: Rees Welsh & Co., 1882-83. Octavo, gilt-stamped yellow cloth. Housed in custom half morocco clamshell box. $3500.First edition, first issue, with tipped-in autograph address leaf to Whitmans friend and supporter, the Critic editor Jeannette Gilder.Tipped to the front free endpaper is a front envelope panel addressed in Whitman's hand to ""J. L. Gilder/ office Critic newspaper/ 75-7 Broadway/ New York City."" The lower left corner of the envelope carries the ink stamp ""Walt Whitman/ Camden/ New Jersey."" Whitman first befriended Jeannette L. Gilder in 1878 when she was with the Herald. In 1881 Gilder co-founded and edited the Critic, which published many of Whitman's pieces. Whitman's time recuperating after two devastating strokes at the homestead of the tenant farming family of Harry Stafford inspired his ""delightfully fresh and random book Specimen Days, 'free gossip mostly He wanted his fragmentary prose to be 'a rapid skimming over the pond-surface of my life, thoughts, experiences "" (Callow, From Noon to Starry Night, 342). Myerson's binding ""B"" (no priority established); single sepia photograph of Whitman on coated paper and butterfly (after page 122), denoted ""Sequence A"" by Myerson (A.11.1.a). BAL 21422. Bookplate.Spine extremities chipped, inner hinges expertly reinforced, interior clean with the few marginal pencil lines and underlinings. Very good condition. (Inventory #: 106138)
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