You are a true man

Whitman-StokerIn 1876, the great Walt Whitman received a letter from a fan who, like so many others before him, had fallen in love with his controversial, groundbreaking collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass, and was keen to connect with its creator. In fact, that young government clerk was Bram Stoker, future author of Dracula—an immeasurably influential horror novel published 25 years later that needs no introduction. Included with Stoker’s letter was another missive—a far lengthier, surprisingly honest piece that begins with an invitation to burn the letter itself—that was written four years previous in draft form, but which he had failed to send. Both can be read below, as can Whitman’s reply.

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