All Whitman scholars have encountered the frustration of trying to track down an event in Whitman's life—the last time he saw Peter Doyle, when he moved to his own home on Mickle Street in Camden, when he met Oscar Wilde. The records of these events in Whitman's long life are buried in seven volumes of his abundant correspondence, in nine volumes of his conversations with Horace Traubel, in nine volumes of his notebooks and manuscripts, and in countless writings produced by his friends and admirers. To fulfill a long-felt need for order among this embarrassment of riches, Joann Krieg has crafted this detailed chronology of Whitman's life.
A Whitman Chronology clarifies the facts of Whitman's life by offering a year-by-year and, where possible, day-by-day account of his private and public life. Where conflicting interpretations exist, Krieg recognizes them and cites the differences; she also directs readers to fuller descriptions of noteworthy events. She offers brief synopses of Whitman's fiction and of his major prose works, giving distinguishing information about each of the six editions of Leaves of Grass. By intertwining the events of his life and work—but without cumbersome layers of speculation—she reveals the close alliance between Whitman's personal involvements and his literary achievements.