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Walt Whitman revealed as author of 'Manly Health' guide

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Thirteen-part series unearthed from the New York Atlas, which lays out plan to ‘give America a far nobler physique’

A long-lost book-length guide to “manly health” by Walt Whitman, in which the great American poet tackles everything from virility to “care of the feet” and the attainment of a “nobler physique”, has been rediscovered by a scholar, more than 150 years after it was first published under a pen-name.

Written under the pseudonym Mose Velsor, a known pen-name for Whitman, the 13-part Manly Health and Training series was published in the New York Atlas in 1858 and runs to nearly 50,000 words. Zachary Turpin from the University of Houston stumbled across it when searching digital archives for Whitman’s pseudonyms, and finding a single hit for “Mose Velsor” in the NY Tribune, advertising the fact that his “original articles on manly training” were shortly to appear in the New York Atlas. He sent away for the Atlas microfilm, and was astonished to discover the 13-instalment series.

To you, clerk, literary man, sedentary person, man of fortune, idler, the same advice. Up! … Out in the morning!

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