Contemporary Reviews

The reviews collected here include all of the items found in Walt Whitman: The Contemporary Reviews, ed. Kenneth M. Price (Cambridge University Press, 1996). In addition, we have included more than one hundred additional reviews that were not included in that volume because of space considerations or because they had not been discovered. In short, this online collection represents the most complete collection of contemporary reviews of Whitman to be found anywhere. Users who discover additional reviews are urged to contact the directors of the Whitman Archive to help make an ever-more complete record. The reviews written during Whitman's lifetime, frequently within weeks or months of the appearance of his various publications, provide an important lens with which to view his earliest reception. The response to Whitman was lively, colorful, and at times wildly extreme. These extraordinary reviews are one index to the power of the writings that prompted them.

Users of this site may notice that some reviews are annotated (those that were collected in WWQR) and others are not (those collected in the Cambridge University Press volume). Ultimately we hope to annotate all the reviews for their presentation on the Whitman Archive. A package of the XML files is available for download here.

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Reviews of Complete Volumes

Reviews of Individual Poems

Reviews of Individual Stories


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Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.