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Containing Multitudes – Walt Whitman and the British Literary Tradition - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Containing Multitudes: Walt Whitman and the British Literary Tradition

Gary Schmidgall


This study explores Walt Whitman’s contradictory response to and embrace of several great prior British poets: Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Blake, and Wordworth (with shorter essays on Scott, Carlyle, Tennyson, Wilde, and Swinburne). Through reference to his entire oeuvre, his published literary criticism, and his private conversations, letters, and manuscripts, this book seeks to understand the extent to which Whitman experienced the anxiety of influence as he sought to establish himself as America’s poet-prophet or bard (and the extent to which he sought to conceal such influence). An attempt ... More

Keywords: Walt Whitman, British poets, literary influences, transatlantic literature, Leaves of Grass, Whitman’s literary criticism, British Poetry, history of American Poetry, Whitman’s Public Image

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199374410
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199374410.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gary Schmidgall, author
Hunter College