A rather fascinating story, based on a supposititious episode in Whitman's youth, so cleverly developed that it seems to account for certain vague hearsay of his later life. The period chiefly concerned is that of his life in New Orleans, a budding and not too successful journalist, prior to the Civil War. There, according to Erskine, he has a serious love affair with an octoroon, whom he wishes to marry. But she makes the decision -- they are separted -- and meet only after he has witnessed the death of the unknown Confederate soldier whom he imagined to be their son. Although this is not a satiric and humorous popularization of a literary subject, in the sense that The Private Life of Helen of Troywas, it has more nearly the popular touch of that book than almost anything else he has done. Fiction, but with that plus sale chance that fictionized history seems to have.