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Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself

Loving, Jerome. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. Berkley Calif. : University of California Press, 1999. 568 p.

People Mentioned in this Work

Aldrich, Thomas [pages:236]

Became "respectable" and well-known after leaving NY for New England. Aldrich was remembered by Whitman as "the dainty book man" (236).

Arnold, George [pages:236]
Beach, Juliette [pages:242-244]

Mentioned as a contributor to The Saturday Press. Beach was expected to submit a favorable reivew of Leaves of Grass. The Saturday Press review request was intercepted by husband who wrote and submitted his own review of the book. Mr. Beach's negative review was initially published in The Saturday Press as Juliette Beach's. Mrs. Beach wrote her own response to Leaves of Grass after the erronious printing.

Chauncey, Charles [pages:274]

Loving discusses Whitman's response to his death.

Clapp, Henry [pages:235,236,237-239,241-246,260,304, 318-319, 352,371]

Due to his leadership and influence, the Pfaffians were sometimes referred to as "Clappians."

Clapp was most valued by Whitman during Whitman's visits to Pfaff's and during early days of Leaves of Grass. Clapp promoted the book in The Saturday Press and read poems as part of this effort. Of this time period, Whitman told Traubel, "one must know about Clapp to comprehend fully the history of Leaves of Grass."

Loving mentions a late meeting with Whitman at Pfaff's in 1867. Clapp was a heavy drinker and died in the gutter of alcoholism in 1875.

Clare, Ada [pages:208-209 (ill.) 236,237,244,260-261,275,304,318-319]

Loving gives her real name as Jane McElheney, which is slightly different from more common spellings of this name.

Clare died at age 38 as the result of anaccident at 166 Bleecker Street that caused her to contract rabies. After this accident, Clare returned to the stage before succumbing to rabies.

In her weekly column in The Saturday Press she stated that Whitman "keep [s] his boots and cheese in the same drawer."

Loving mentions that Whitman and Clapp discussed her she appearance on the Memphis stage and her upcoming shows in Albany when they met in at Pfaff's in 1867. Loving also notes that the men discussed her novel.

Loving mentions that Clare is a possible writer of the "Ellen Eyre" letter.

Eyre, Ellen [pages:259-261,351]
Howells, William [pages:235,304-305]

Ohioan, allegedly met Whitman at Pfaff's shortly after first his meetings with the New England literary Brahmins. Howells' presence at Pfaff's has been challenged by William Winter.

Howells published several poems in The Saturday Press. His negative review of Whitman may have prompted Whitman's promotion of Leaves of Grass.

Menken, Adah [pages:236]
O'Brien, Fitz-James [pages:236]

Described as a brawler. Died during the Civil War from lockjaw caused by a hastily bandaged headwound.

The Saturday Press [pages:5,235,236,237,238,241-242,249,260-261,275,371]

Described as "influential" because it shared the literary market with . The paper is also described as a possible forerunner to The New Yorker.

In the May 19,1856, issue Leaves of Grass may have been reviewed anonymously by either Clapp or Whitman.

Stedman, Edmund [pages:236]
Sweeney, Frank [pages:259]
Swinton, John [pages:236,237]

John later became managing the editor of The New York Times. Swinton was one of Whitman's best friends from Pfaff's.

Ward, Artemus [pages:236]
Whitman, Walt [pages:233-237,241-246,274, 351-352, 371]

Loving describes Whitman as resuming drinking and spending much time in New York during 1857. Among other activities, Whitman is described as "sitting alone with a glass of beer against the back wall of Pfaff's cellar restaurant and saloon." He was often accompanied by an unknown doctor. Whitman compared the size of Pfaff's to his Mickle Street bedroom. Loving reports by hearsay that Whitman was never seen as "tipsy," and was most likely never completely comfortable as a drinker or a bohemian.

Leaves of Grass was often made light of by other regulars. Whitman most likely went along with and enjoyed the jokes at his expense.

Wilkins, Edward (Ned) [pages:236]

Edward was also known as "Ned."

Winter, William [pages:235-236,244]

The author cites Winter as a regular at Pfaff's. Winter claimed that Howells never visited Pfaff's. Winter disliked Leaves of Grass.

Of the regulars, Winter claimed that they "weren't sots - they were so poorly paid as writers that they couldn't afford to get drunk."