Newswire: A lost novel by Walt Whitman has been discovered, and you can read it for free

Walt Whitman, the great bearded sensualist of American verse, was reluctant to talk about the years that preceded the first editions of his magnum opus, Leaves Of Grass, when we worked in newspapers around New York. Before he was known as a poet, Whitman was a printer’s devil, a typesetter, a journalist, an editor, and even published his own newspaper for a time. He also wrote fiction, all of which he would later disown.

Now, one of these early prose works—Life And Adventures Of Jack Engle, a previously unknown short novel from 1852—has been rediscovered. Originally serialized over six installments in a weekly called The Sunday Dispatch, Jack Engle was published anonymously and never reprinted or mentioned again. The novel was discovered by University Of Houston graduate student Zachary Turpin, who came across some notes in the writer’s papers that led him to the Sunday Dispatch …

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