We were at the Library of Congress last week and had the pleasure of standing just inches away from the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855) in their “Books that Changed America” exhibit. It was actually breathtaking. The seminal Whitman classic was alongside some other absolutely amazing first editions, like Atlas Shrugged, Huckleberry Finn, Catch-22, The Catcher in the Rye, The Legend of Sleep Hollow, Moby Dick, Howl, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (complete with a handwritten dedication by the first edition’s owner, Susan B. Anthony). The full list is here, and it’s totally awesome.
We were dismayed, however, that certain authors/works weren’t included, namely Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Emerson’s Nature. Perhaps most conspicuously absent were any of Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpieces. What else should have made the list?
Photography credits go to BC friends Michael and Kathleen Bursztyn