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Leaves of Grass: The First 1855 Edition (Penguin Classics)by Walt Whitman
Synopses & Reviews
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by Jessica Hische
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany and Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.
W is for Whitman. When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his life, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but the 1855 original marked Whitmans fresh and bold arrival, greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as the beginning of a great career.” This volume specially compiled for Penguin Drop Caps will also include a range of additional popular poems including selections from "Calamus," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," and "Drum-Taps," as well as Whitmans 1855, 1856 and 1976 prefaces and Democratic Vistas.”
This deluxe 150th anniversary edition of Whitman's masterwork features the complete text of the 1855 poem in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by bestselling critic Harold Bloom.
A deluxe edition of Whitman's crowning achievement, with an introductory essay by Harold Bloom
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his great career, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but as Harold Bloom reminds us, the book that matters most is the 1855 original. In celebration of the poems 150th anniversary, Penguin Classics proudly presents the 1855 text in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by Harold Bloom.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The publication of Leaves of Grass in July 1855 was a landmark event in literary history. Ralph Waldo Emerson judged the book "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Nothing like the volume had ever appeared before. Everything about it--the unusual jacket and title page, the exuberant preface, the twelve free-flowing, untitled poems embracing every realm of experience--was new. The 1855 edition broke new ground in its relaxed style, which prefigured free verse; in its sexual candor; in its images of racial bonding and democratic togetherness; and in the intensity of its affirmation of the sanctity of the physical world.
About the Author
JESSICA HISCHE is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazines "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany and Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.
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