LEAVES OF GRASS with Sands at Seventy & a Backward Glance o'er Travel'd. Richard Maurice Bucke's Copy.Camden, New Jersey: Self Published, 1889.
70th Birthday Edition. Whitman, Walt. LEAVES OF GRASS with Sands at Seventy & a Backward Glance o'er Travel'd Roads. Camden, New Jersey, [May 31st,] 1889. Privately Printed. First edition thus. 8vo., 382pp + 20pp. Late 20th-century limp black morocco, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. A very good copy showing some use with some modest restoration to the spine crown & corners. Custom clamshell case. One of only 300 copies of Leaves of Grass printed in commemoration of Whitman's 70th birthday, boldly signed by Whitman on the title page. With six portraits of the author, including the famous original mounted frontispiece photograph with a butterfly resting on his finger. This copy is further enhanced by its association with Whitman's great friend & his literary executor, Richard Maurice Bucke, who has inscribed & signed the front fly-leaf: "J. N. Greenshields from his friend R. M. Bucke [three line quotation from "I Sing The Body Electric", these lines underscored in the text] Asylum, London, Ont. 6 Nov. '95." Greenshields was a prominent Montreal lawyer & important financier. Bucke was born in England & raised in Canada, studied medicine & served as superintendent of the London, Ontario Asylum for the insane from 1877 until his death in 1902. He wrote two enthusiastic studies of Whitman; Walt Whitman: A Contemporaneous Study,  [was the first biography of Whitman ever written] & Walt Whitman: Man and Poet, . Bucke helped edit Whitman's Complete Writings,  & In Re Walt Whitman, . Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness,  reflects much of Whitman's mysticism. "Whitman's influence over Bucke, a prematurely modern man smothered by the starched collars & repressed sexuality of the period, was profound. Whitman's fearless, infectious enthusiasm, prodigious lust for life & distain of convention consumes Bucke & frees him from his social bondage". An important & notable Association Copy. "When the superintendent of the Canadian insane asylum, Dr. Maurice Bucke, meets poet Walt Whitman, his life and that of his wife and patients is radically changed. Like Dr. Bucke, Whitman has avant-garde ideas on the subject of mental illness. "Dreamers" is based on true events." - From a review of the 1990 NFB film Beautiful Dreamers, staring Rip Torn as Whitman & Colm Feore as Bucke.
Item #29228 Price: $17,750.00