The Routledge Encyclopedia of Walt Whitman: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Walt Whitman

1st Edition

Edited by J.R. LeMaster, Donald D. Kummings


848 pages

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New in Paperback: 9780415890571
pub: 2011-03-08
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pub: 1998-08-01
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pub: 2013-09-05
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The Routledge Encyclopedia of Walt Whitman presents a comprehensive resource complied by over 200 internationally recognized contributors, including such leading Whitman scholars as James E. Miller, Jr., Roger Asselineau, Betsy Erkkila, and Joel Myerson.

Now available for the first time in paperback, this volume comprises more than 750 entries arranged in convenient alphabetical format. Coverage includes:

  • biographical information: all names, dates, places, and events important to understanding Whitman's life and career
  • Whitman's works: essays on all eight editions of "Leaves of Grass," major poems and poem clusters, principal essays and prose works, as well as his more than two dozen short stories and the novel, Franklin Evans
  • prominent themes and concepts: essays on such major topics as democracy, slavery, the Civil War, immortality, sexuality, and the women's rights movement.
  • significant forms and techniques: such as prosody, symbolism, free verse, and humour
  • important trends and critical approaches in Whitman studies: including new historicist and cultural criticism, psychological explorations, and controversial issues of sexual identity
  • surveys of Whitman's international impact as well as an assessment of his literary legacy.

Useful for students, researchers, librarians, teachers, and Whitman devotees, this volume features extensive cross-references, numerous photographs of the poet, a chronology, a special appendix section tracking the poet's genealogy, and a thorough index. Each entry includes a bibliography for further study.


'A reference work so comprehensive as to have no true precedent for readers of Whitman. This is a volume that both institutions and individual scholars will wish to have on their Whitman bookshelves, where they will soon find it an indispensable resource.' Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

'The best reference books fan the flame of student interest, nudging them from the need for an answer to the desire to know more. This encyclopedia does just that and more…' School Library Journal

'[D]estined to be the 'Open Sesame' to a new wave of Whitman scholarship in the coming millennium. What a cornucopia of topics for the classroom teacher to provide for their students. It belongs in every day library, private or public, and in schools and university libraries at home and abroad. To the editors, contributors and their publisher: BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!' The Walt Whitman Circle

'[A] useful and impressive volume…LeMaster and Kummings are to be commended for the diversity of entries and the attention to the details. Recommended for all libraries.' – Choice

'Walt Whitman is arguably America's greatest poet and as such is deserving of a single volume encyclopedia devoted to his life and work. Now he has one… The range and depth of coverage in Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia is impressive and does ample justice to its topic. Public and academic libraries with interest in American literature will want it in their collection.' Against the Grain

Table of Contents

Actors and Actresses American Character The Atlantic Monthly Boston, Massachusetts Willa Cather "Children of Adam" The Civil War "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" Democracy Democratic Vistas Education, Views on Evolution Freedom Human Body Internet, Whitman on the Labor and Laboring Classes Leaves of Grass Libraries (New York) Literature Motherhood Native Americans Nature "O Captain! My Captain!" Opera and Opera Singers Poetic Theory Religion St. Louis, Missouri Sentimentality Sex and Sexuality Short Fiction, Whitman's Slavery and Abolitionism "Song of Myself" The Soul Specimen Days Style and Technique(s) Temperance Movement Thoreau, Henry David Transcendentalism

About the Editors

J. R. LeMaster is Emeritas Professor of English at Baylor University.

Donald D. Kummings is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General