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Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (150th Anniversary Edition) Hardcover – April 15, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,592 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As scholarship has made its importance to American letters more manifest, editions of the 1855 version of Whitman's masterpiece have multiplied. This one, prepared in honor of the poem's 150th anniversary, will be hard to beat. Edited by major Americanist Reynolds (Walt Whitman's America, etc.), it comes as close as possible, without being a facsimile, to reproducing Whitman's original text, which he famously self-published. The familiar litho of the young rough with open collar opens the book, and Reynold's terrific and informative afterword closes it, along with contemporary reviews (some written by Whitman himself) and Emerson's famous letter ("I greet you at the beginning of a great career..."). Those who know Whitman only through the beautiful but bloated 1892 "deathbed" edition of Leaves of Grass will find here a lean, searing celebration of self.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author


David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among his many books are Walt Whitman (part of Oxford's Lives and Legacies series), Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, which won the
Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Beneath the American Renaissance, winner of the Christian Gauss Award. A regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, he lives in Old Westbury, New York.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oxford University Press; 150th anniversary edition (April 15, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0195183428
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0195183429
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.52 x 0.75 x 6.42 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,592 ratings

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Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, near Huntington, Long Island, New York. On July 4, 1855, the first edition of Leaves of Grass, the volume of poems that for the next four decades would become his lifes work, was placed on sale. Although some critics treated the volume as a joke and others were outraged by its unprecedented mixture of mysticism and earthiness, the book attracted the attention of some of the finest literary intelligences. His poetry slowly achieved a wide readership in America and in England, where he was praised by Swinburne and Tennyson. (D. H. Lawrence later referred to Whitman as the"greatest modern poet, and"the greatest of Americans. Whitman suffered a stroke in 1873 and was forced to retire to Camden, New Jersey, where he would spend the last twenty years of his life. There he continued to write poetry, and in 1881 the seventh edition of Leaves of Grass was published to generally favorable reviews. However, the book was soon banned in Boston on the grounds that it was obscene literature. In January 1892 the final edition of Leaves of Grass appeared on sale, and Whitman's life work was complete. He died two months later on the evening of March 26, 1892, and was buried four days afterward at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
2,592 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Purchased new, but Arrived damaged.
By alternative Travel Press on March 7, 2021
Ordered the book Leaves of Grass (Leather-bound) new from 8 trax media. The book arrived damaged, with the gold gilding on the edge of the pages flaking off, leaving a large splotch of raw white on the edge of the book (about the size of a thumb) where the gold had been. You could not touch or handle the book without more gold gilding flaking off from all three gilded edges, leaving gold dust behind on your hands and any surface the book rested on. There were also a few small pits in the book cover where the cover had been gouged away that were not part of the cover's decoration. I sent a photo of this damage to the seller and requested a refund, and they provided a refund quickly. I would have given 5 starts rather than 4, had it not been for the bizarre message to me following the refund that stated "Hi, the photo does not depict any damage. I will refund though, no need to return." It just seemed really unnecessary to send me such a snarky message after I was sent a book that was very clearly damaged.
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Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2018
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fizzy5000
5.0 out of 5 stars 10/10 book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2019
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K701
3.0 out of 5 stars Re: 1855 edition by Amereon Ltd. Rating for edition not Whitman's work
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2015
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Rani Ban
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a challenge!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2016
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kehs
5.0 out of 5 stars American poetry
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2021
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Morais
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful little book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2018
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