Leaves of Grass

front cover

Leaves of Grass was a novelty in terms of style and subject matter, and heralded a shift in the course of American literary history. Whitman sent a copy of the controversial book to Ralph Waldo Emerson who praised it as "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed".

This copy features eight pages of press notices bound in at the front, followed by a frontispiece portrait of Whitman attired in casual "everyman" attire. Both covers feature dark green cloth binding with embossed floral design, gilt title on the front cover and blind stamping on the back.

Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892
New York: W. Whitman & Rome Brothers, 1855

frontispiece portrait title page

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