The set of four volumes
edited by Rufus Wilmot Griswold (editor) (1815-1857)
printed by J. S. Redfield (printer) (Justus Starr Redfield (printer) , 1810-1888)
is an important
crossroads in the publication of Poe's writings.
It was the first attempt at
collecting both poetry and prose, and the first collection of Poe's critical,
editorial and miscellaneous writings. Relying on a wealth of manuscript notes
and corrections, it is also the last collection to be at least partially
authorized by Poe. It became the standard edition of Poe's works for 25 years,
and served as the model for nearly another quarter of a century.
It is also the
edition upon which Charles Baudelaire based his famous translations of Poe's
works into French in Histoires Extraordinaires (1856), Nouvelles
Histoires Extraordinaires (1857) and Histoires Grotesques Et
The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe (The Griswold (editor)
It would be difficult, merely seeing these unprepossessing volumes on a
shelf, to appreciate their controversial history. News of Poe's death in
Baltimore on October 7, 1849 reached his mother-in-law, Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
, in New York
two days later.
Shortly thereafter, she and Mrs. Shew appear to have approached
Rufus W. Griswold (editor) and requested that he edit and publish a collection of Poe's
It is often repeated that Poe himself asked that Griswold (editor) be his
editor, but there is no definitive surviving evidence for this statement nor any
explanation for why Poe should have thought that he would require an editor.
1854, Mrs. Lewis wrote, "I did tell Griswold (editor) that Mr. Poe expressed a desire
that he should become his editor, in case of his death. I did this in
compliance with Mr. Poe's own request.
He had great confidence in Griswold (editor) 's
editorial ability . . ." (Sarah Anna Lewis to George W. Eveleth, Nov. 6, 1854,
quoted in Miller, pp. 199-200).
At the time, Griswold (editor) himself wrote, "I
undertook to edit his writings to oblige Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) . . ." (R. W.
Griswold (editor) to S.
H. Whitman, December 17, 1849, Harrison, vol. II, p. 406).
To J. R.
Lowell, Griswold (editor) wrote, "Poe was not my friend — I was not his — and he had no
right to devolve upon me this duty of editing his works.
He did so, however, and
under the circumstances I could not well refuse compliance with the wishes of
his friends here.
From his constant habit of repeating himself,
his habits of appropriation,
particularly in the Marginalia, it is
a difficult task;
but I shall execute it as well as I can, in the short time
that is allowed to me — that is, in three weeks" (R. W. Griswold (editor)
to J. R.
Lowell, October 18 or 25, 1849, quoted in Quinn, 1941, p. 658).
Whether the idea was Poe's, Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) 's, Mrs. Lewis's or Griswold (editor)
's, Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) had a contract
written up on October 15, 1849 which granted Griswold (editor) full power of attorney.
(This contract is itself the subject of some controversy as Poe's true legal
heir should have been his sister, Rosalie, rather than Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law)
A notice "To
the Reader" from Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) was to appear in the first volume, stating that the
publication was for her financial benefit, although she seems never to have
received more than a number of sets of the volumes to sell.
On March 9, 1850,
Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) wrote to James Russell Lowell,
"I have received a letter from Mr. Redfield (printer) . (The publisher of my dear son[[']]s E. A. Poe[[']]s works) in which he
states that I will not receive any thing from those works until the expenses are
paid. I suppose this is right, but in the mean time I must be entirely
destitute" (M. Clemm (mother-in-law) to J. R. Lowell, March 9, 1850, quoted in Quinn, 1941, p.
Later in the same year, Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) wrote to another correspondent that
selling the volumes she has on hand is "the only emolument that I shall receive
from them at present" (M. Clemm (mother-in-law) to unknown correspondent, December 2, 1850,
quoted in Gimbel, 1959, p. 185).
After the appearance of Griswold (editor) 's slanderous
"Memoir" several months later in 1850, Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) came to regret her actions.
an 1860 letter to Neilson Poe, she refers to Griswold (editor) as "that base, base
man" (M. Clemm (mother-in-law) to N. Poe, August 26, 1860, quoted in Miller, p. 50).
In 1875, E.
Dora Houghton wrote to John Ingram, "When the books were published her
indignation and grief was heart-rending to witness, and after ineffectual
efforts, to get justice — expressed herself as heartbroken and was said never to
have smiled again" (E. D. Houghton to J. Ingram, January 9, 1875, quoted in
Miller, 1977, p. 90).
Mrs. Shew also recalled that Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) had sold a
bracelet "for three hundred dollars . . . intended to pay Griswold (editor)
to keep his
infamous life or destroy it and make none but such as Mr. Poe's friends
approved" (M. L. Shew to J. Ingram, January 23, 1875, quoted in Miller, 1977, p.
Griswold (editor) , likewise, had no love for Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) , writing to S. H. Whitman,
"I cannot refrain from begging you to be very careful what you say or write to
Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) , who is not your friend, nor anybody's friend, and who has no element
of goodness or kindness in her nature, but whose heart and understanding are
full of malice and wickedness" (R. W. Griswold (editor) to S. H. Whitman, December
17, 1849, quoted in Harrison, vol. XVII, p. 406).
T. O. Mabbott notes,
"The appointment has led to much discussion; the most reasonable view is that
Poe had wished Griswold (editor) , a very able man, to be his editor, and had even
mentioned the possibility to him, but in a way that Griswold (editor) had not thought a
firm commitment" (Mabbott, Poems, p. 571, n. 8).
Having secured the rights and material for two volumes, Griswold (editor)
set to work.
He asked Nathaniel Parker Willis and James Russell Lowell to revise
previously published essays they had written about Poe so that these could be
used as introductory material.
A letter from Griswold (editor) to J. R. Lowell notes that
"There are now six persons employed in setting up the copy, and I understand
four others will be added next week" (R. W. Griswold (editor) to J. R. Lowell, October
31, 1849, quoted in Quinn, 1941, p. 659.)
James Cephas Derby comments that "Dr. Griswold (editor) had offered the works to nearly all the leading publishers, who
declined to undertake the publication.
He finally persuaded Mr. Redfield (printer) to try
the experiment of issuing two volumes first, which were published and had a fair
sale — then the third, and finally the fourth, volume were added to complete the
The sale reached about fifteen hundred sets every year" (Derby,
1884, pp. 586-587).
Curiously, Derby also claims, "The copyright was paid at
first to Mr. Poe, and after his death to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law)
received the copyright on several editions.
She came to Mr. Redfield (printer) one day in
a great strait — saying she was going to Baltimore to enter a home for aged
She wanted to raise two hundred and fifty dollars, and if he would let
her have that amount, she would relinquish all claims to copyright.
Mr. Redfield (printer) hesitated at first, but finally yielded to her importunities and paid her the
money, thus becoming owner of the copyright as well as stereotype plates of
Poe's complete works" (Derby, 1884, p. 587).
This claim has two serious flaws.
Firstly, the edition did not even appear until after Poe's death, so that he
could hardly have received any copyright payments.
Secondly, the copyright
notices on all volumes, including the earliest printings, clearly give J. S. Redfield (printer)
as the holder.
Derby's comment about Griswold (editor) having trouble finding a
publisher for the set echoes statements made in an anonymous article many years
earlier: "On the death of the late Edgar A. Poe, and when almost every other
publisher in the City had declined bringing out his works, he issued them, in
three ample volumes. They were remarkably successful, five large editions having
since been sold" ("Publishers and Publishing in New-York," The New-York
Tribune, March 17, 1854.)
The first two volumes were advertised as early as October of 1849, but were
probably not actually available until about January 10, 1850. (In the first
editions, both volumes carry the copyright date of 1849. In later editions,
volume I continues to carry the 1849 copyright, while volume II carries a
copyright date of 1850.
A notice from the Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser
for October 30, 1849 requests anyone with letters from Poe to forward them to Griswold (editor)
through J. R. Thompson, and states, "Two volumes of the Works of Mr.
Poe, comprising about 1000 pages, will be issued under Mr. Griswold (editor) 's
supervision, in New York, in about 4 weeks."
An advertisement in the New-York
Tribune of January 9, 1850 announces that the volumes will be published on
January 10, 1850. A brief but very favorable review appeared in The Dollar
Newspaper (Philadelphia) of January 16, 1850, just three days before what
would have been Poe's 41st birthday.)
It seems to have sold well, as a second
printing was required within four months. (J. H Whitty, in printing J. R.
Thompson's The Genius and Character of Edgar Allan Poe, includes a letter
of February 19, 1850 to Thompson from Griswold (editor) (pp. 54-56) in which
Griswold (editor) claims that the first two volumes have not been selling.)
The third volume was first issued on September 21, 1850. (The "Preface" is
dated "New-York, September 2, 1850."
The New York Tribune for September
19, 1850 notes that the volume will be available in two days.)
Griswold (editor) claimed
that it required more editorial work than the first two volumes. In the same
letter to Thompson, mentioned above, he notes "Yet, I am preparing a third
volume, which I propose to entitle Literary Characters, Marginalia, and
Discourses of the late E. A. Poe, the third and concluding volume of his works"
Griswold (editor) continues, "Under the head of Literary Characters I propose to
place not only the notices of men and women which he himself printed under the
title, but the more personal reviews which I can identify in the S. L. M,
Graham's Magazine, The Whig-Review, &c.
In the Marginalia I
shall include the various series of thoughts and suggestions which he published
in this form and has not repeated in his more elaborate performances" (p. 55).
There has been some discussion as to whether volume III was initially sold as a
continuation of the prior two volumes or as a separate book.
The title page of
the 1850 edition does not bear any indication of being volume III, although
bindings often do carry the designation of "Vol. 3."
Some of these books have
clearly been rebound by owners seeking to have a unified appearance for the set.
Others, however, appear to be original publishers' bindings.
It is not unlikely
that the book was available both ways, or that the publishers provided a binding
based on the preference of the buyer. An advertisement in Thomas Wrights's book
Narratives of Sorcery and Magic (New York: J. S. Redfield (printer) , 1852,
mentioned in the Poe Catalogue of the 19th Century Shop, 1992, as item #655)
shows that the first two volumes were still being sold separately from the third
volume (for $2.50).
In 1852, all three volumes were reprinted exactly as they were issued in
1850. (Only the date on the title page was changed.)
In 1853, a number of
modifications were made to reshape the three books into a cohesive set. In this
process, the "Preface" and "Memoir" were relocated from volume III to volume I
and "The Poetic Principle" moved to volume II.
In repositioning "The Poetic
Principle," which had been at the front of volume III, the printer renumbered
the pages of the essay as prefatory material (pages vii - xxvi) but left volume
III starting at page 21. (This anomaly was left unchanged in future printings.)
The title page of volume II was changed from "Poems and Miscellanies" to "Poems
and Tales," and the copyright date on the back of the title page changed from
1849 to 1850. The title of volume III was also changed at this time to
simply "The Literati," and was clearly marked as volume III. In this form, the
three volumes were again reprinted in 1855.
In spite of Griswold (editor) 's statement to Thompson that the third volume was to be
the final one, a fourth volume was issued in 1856, one year before Griswold (editor)
(The "Preface" for this volume is dated "New York, Feb. 13,
1856.") The chief item in this volume was "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym."
Griswold (editor) had apparently debated as to whether or not to include this work in the
set as early as 1849.
On November 3, 1849, Mrs. Lewis wrote to him, "I have read
carefully 'Arthur Gordon Pym.' It is not written with the care and classic
finish that characterize 'The Gold Bug,' and 'The House of Usher,' but with more
freshness and dramatic effect.
The interest never lags. The movement is almost
constant. I think that a collection of Mr. Poe's Tales will be incomplete
without it" (quoted by Bayless, p. 283-284, n 24).
Many sets combine this one
volume with earlier printings of the previous three. (A number of obvious
typographical errors, especially in "Pym," remained through several subsequent
These were corrected when W. J. Widdleton printed its slightly
revised edition in 1861.)
There are nearly annual reprints of the full
four-volume set: 1857, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1863, 1864, 1866, 1868, 1870, etc.,
until John Ingram's revisions in 1874-1875.
At some point, the one-page
notice by Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) "To The Reader" was also removed, though it remained in
place as late as 1870.
(It was apparently removed after Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) died in
1871.) Sometime between 1870 and 1876, Griswold (editor) 's "Memoir" was replaced by
Ingram's far more sympathetic account of Poe's life.
An 1859 edition, clearly from the Redfield (printer) plates, was printed by the New
York firm of Blakeman & Mason.
By 1861, Redfield (printer) had sold the rights to W.
J. Widdleton, which modified the title of the volumes to "The Works of Edgar
Allan Poe," dropping the phrase "The Late," but retaining the Redfield (printer)
copyright, lamp and serpent logo, Griswold (editor) 's "Memoir of the Author" and the "To
the Reader" notice by Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) .
Widdleton reapplied for the copyright in 1876
and continued to issue both the full set and a single volume of poems until
about 1882, when the rights were acquired by W. C. Bush.
In 1884, Bush sold the
rights to A. C. Armstrong & Sons (owned by Andrew C. Armstrong), which
issued Poe's writings in several forms, most notably a six volume set with
additional material and also a new memoir, by Richard Henry Stoddard.
appears to have sold the rights to George Putnam's Sons about 1902. Several
years earlier (1894-1895), George Edward Woodberry and Edmund Clarence Stedman
had created a new edition of Poe's works, extending the collection to 10
These editors were aware of concerns raised by John H. Ingram (1874)
and W. F. Gill (1878) that Griswold (editor) had tampered with Poe's writings.
"General Preface" (signed "The Editors" and dated "New York, Oct. 28, 1894")
deals with this concern by stating that "in view of the contemporary uncertainty
of Poe's fame, the difficulty of obtaining a publisher, and the fact that the
editorial work was not paid for, little fault can justly be found with Griswold (editor)
who did secure what Poe in his lifetime could never accomplish, — a tolerably
complete collected edition of the tales, reviews, and poems" (Woodberry and
Stedman, "General Preface," 1894-1896, p. v.).
(Ironically, Woodberry and
Stedman even begin their first volume with a frontispiece engraving of the same
portrait of Poe used by Griswold (editor) in his edition.)
More recently, Burton Pollin
contradicts Woodberry's insistence that Griswold (editor) had undertaken the editing of
Poe's works out of a sense of charity, noting "Everyone soon knew of the great
benefit to editor Griswold (editor) , in both income and reputation, brought by this
large, lavish volume . . . " (Pollin, 1991, p. 151).
Given Griswold (editor) 's notorious "memoir" of Poe and numerous variations from
earlier printings, the debate about the authority of the Griswold (editor)
continued. James Albert Harrison, for example, commented in his 1902 edition of
Poe's works, "After a thorough examination of all the existing editions of Poe's
works, the editor became convinced that no satisfactory text of the poet's
writings could be established without direct study of the original sources in
which these writings first and last appeared.
Existing editions conflicted in so
many points that no course was left except to reject them all — beginning with
Griswold (editor) , whom all had more or less faithfully followed . . . "
(Harrison, "Editor's Preface," 1902, vol. I, p. vii.) Part of this distrust may
be due to a problem noted by Mabbott: "At some time after 1853, something
happened, some accident to the type, to introduce a number of new errors,
especially in Volume I between pages 131 and 213.
These errors are recorded as Griswold (editor) 's in the variants of Harrison's Complete works of Poe (1902).
Apparently one of the 'defective' later copies of Works was used for collation,
and the errors in it were, no doubt, one of the reasons R. A. Stewart (Harrison
II, 299) called the Works 'very defective in typography.'
therein are not free from errors, but a comparison of the original 1850
Works text with the original Broadway Journal texts shows by far more
typographical errors in the latter" (Mabbott, Tales and Sketches, 1978,
Reviewing the Harrison edition in 1902, Woodberry again emphasized Griswold (editor)
's "lack of motive." (This review is not signed, but Killis Campbell
identifies it as by G. E. Woodberry in The Mind of Poe and Other Studies,
1933, p. 95, note 1.
The tone and contents of the review strongly support this
attribution.) Woodberry goes on to say, "The truth is, that the editor's
[Harrison's] prejudice against Griswold (editor) has led him to reject Poe's own late and
mature revision of his major critical writing in favor of these early,
scattered, and fragmentary forms in which they appeared in the magazines in
their original helter-skelter production. . . . In conclusion, it must be held
that Griswold (editor) 's authority, so far from being impaired, is strengthened by the
present attack on him, and that the edition itself suffers in just that
proportion in which it departs from him in substance. In any discussion of the
text of Poe the primary fact should never be lost sight of, namely, that Griswold (editor)
had Poe's papers, as collected and prepared by Poe himself. . ."
(Woodberry, The Nation, p. 446).
Perhaps in a further response to Harrison, a revised reprint was issued in
1903 of the landmark 10-volume edition prepared in 1894-1895 by Woodberry and
Stedman. They repeated their earlier "General Preface" (now dated "New York,
October 1, 1902) and added several sentences to the end: "On reviewing their
work, the editors feel assured that the present edition embodies Poe's writings,
both as to substance and form, in the way that he desired when he intrusted
[sic] them to his literary executor, Dr. Griswold (editor) . It would be possible to
expand the critical portion of his works indefinitely by collecting the large
number of his early reviews; but nothing of value would thereby be added, as he
himself included in his later notices all that was not purely contemporary and
transitory in these; in 'The Literati' especially, and its cognate pieces, he
had summed up his lifelong critical work in the form in which he desired it to
survive. It is with confidence, therefore, that the editors present this edition
as complete and definitive" (Woodberry and Stedman, "General Preface," 1903, p.
Rather more succinctly, T. O. Mabbott stated, "Harrison distrusted Griswold (editor)
and all his works, and preferred the periodicals when it was possible to use
them, although he accepted the extensive changes of 'The Balloon Hoax' and
several other pieces. Griswold (editor) 's tampering with texts of letters discredits him
badly. But no evidence of mistreatment of the text of the tales can be found,
and, after all, the man had no motive to alter Poe's fiction" (Mabbott, Tales
and Sketches, 1978, p. 1400, footnote.) George E. Hatvary makes an even
bolder statement: "Since the Harrison text [of the essay "Fifty Suggestions"] is
identical to the Griswold (editor) text, it is clear that, notwithstanding his frequent
disparagement of Griswold (editor) 's editing, Harrison, while creating the impression
that he was going back to the original version, was actually basing his text on Griswold (editor)
's" (Hatvary, 1971, p. 47).
As Mabbott points out elsewhere, however, Griswold (editor) 's text cannot be
considered definitive as he did not always have copies of Poe's latest
corrections and, particularly in volume III, seems to have imposed a somewhat
heavier editorial hand. In a few cases, he may even have manipulated some of the
material to support charges made in his "memoir" of Poe. Edward H. O'Neill,
examining the text of Poe's "Marginalia," commented "Griswold (editor)
must have known of
the various installments of 'Marginalia' published by Poe, though he made no
attempt to print them as they originally appeared. Instead, . . . he made a new
text, dropping and adding for no apparent reason" (E. H. O'Neill, "The Poe-Griswold (editor)
-Harrison Texts of the 'Marginalia'," American Literature,
pp. 238-250). This charge is mostly unfounded, as Griswold (editor) likely was following
manuscript notes left by Poe for a proposed but never completed edition
variously called "A Critical History of American Literature," "The American
Parnassus" and "Literary America." (O'Neill acknowledges this possibility on p.
246 of his article: "It may be that Griswold (editor) prepared his 'Marginalia' from
notes or revised manuscripts which have disappeared.") In this effort, Poe
himself had somewhat haphazardly cut and pasted material from various reviews,
the "Literati" papers and his "Marginalia" series. The final product, at least
as it stood when Poe seems to have abandoned it in 1848, was certainly not ready
for publication and its full form, and Griswold (editor) 's modifications to it, will
never fully be known since only parts of the manuscript have survived intact.
Whether or not Poe intended to include the five special items not printed as
part of the original "Literati" series of 1846 (namely those for "Charles F.
Briggs," "James Lawson," "Frances Sargent Osgood," "Mary E. Hewitt" and
especially "Thomas Dunn Brown [English]") cannot now be conclusively
ascertained. In a footnote, Burton Pollin comments "Poe clearly intended to
include all or many of his Literati sketches of 1846 in 'Literary America,' as Griswold (editor)
knew from the copies in Poe's literary remains. His substitution of
these five papers was not a fraud or deception as James Harrison said" (Pollin,
1991, p. 161, note 18). In the same footnote, Pollin also quotes from a penciled
note in Mabbott's own set of Harrison's edition of Poe's works: "All are
undeniably Poe's save, perhaps, for a small interpolation (on English) by . . . Griswold (editor)
Whichever side one favors in the debate, there is no doubting the important
and influential position of this collection in the history of Poe's literary
legacy. Dismissing the "Memoir," the Griswold (editor) edition of Poe's works remains a
significant archive of Poe's writings, embodying some revisions which might
otherwise have been entirely lost.
12mo (7 1/2 in x 4 5/8 in also 7 3/8 in x 4 9/16 in). Pages: vol.
I - [i-ii], [i-xxii],  -483, plus four pages of advertisements and portrait
frontispiece; vol II - [i-iv],  - 495; vol III - [i-xl],  - 607; vol IV
- [i-xii]  - 447, plus advertisements. Various bindings are known, all in
cloth or leather. Among the most notable bindings are those with a
gold-stamped bust of Athene with a raven. These bindings began with the third
volume and continued in the production of the full, 4-volume sets.
A Chronology of Printings and Reprintings:
1850 - volumes I & II (first printing of these volumes)
1850 - September - volume III (first printing of this volume)
1852 - reprint of volumes I-III (in the 1850 format. Only the date
on the title pages is changed.)
1853 - reprint of volumes I-III, with some material moved from
volume III to volumes I and II. The title page of volume III is altered, so
that it is now called simply "The Literati."
1855 - reprint of volumes I-III (in the 1853 format)
1856 - volume IV (first printing of this volume), plus reprints of
volumes I- III
1857 - reprint of volumes I-IV
1857 - British reprint of volumes I-IV (Sampson Low, Son & Co.
This appears to be an authorized reprint, in cooperation with Redfield (printer)
is the earliest multi-volume collection of Poe's works published in Great
1858 - reprint of volumes I-IV
1859 - reprint of volumes I-IV (with publisher given as Blakeman
W. J. Widdleton
1861 - reprint of volumes I-IV (with new title of "The Works
of Edgar Allan Poe" and Widdleton noted on title page as "Successor to J. S.
Redfield (printer) ." The frontispiece of Poe has been greatly modified. Although it is
essentially the same portrait, the dark background has been omitted and the
portrait itself produced in a lighter steel engraving rather than the very
sombre mezzotint. The artist for the new portrait is not identified, nor
does it carry Poe's name.)
1863 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1864 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1865 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1866 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1867 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1868 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1869 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1870 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1871 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1861 format)
1876 - reprint of volumes I-IV, with some notable formatting
differences. Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) 's "To the Reader" notice has been removed. (Mrs.
Clemm (mother-in-law) had died in 1871). Griswold (editor) 's memoir is replaced by Ingram's (although
Ingram's sequencing of material has not been adopted). The sequence of the
volumes has been altered, so that Vol. I is now Poems and Miscellanies
(including "The Poetic Principle" and "Eureka"); Vol. II is The Literati,
and etc.; Vol. III is Tales; and Vol. IV is still "Pym" (with the same
additional tales and critical material in the same volume in prior editions,
except for "Letter to B—," which was moved to vol. II). "Marginalia" has
been moved from vol. III to vol. I, but Ingram's additional "Marginalia" and
formatting have not been adopted. The poem "Alone" has been added as a new
item in vol. I (from the text printed in facsimile in Scribner's
Magazine). Five other items have been added to vol. II from the Ingram
edition of 1874-1875: "A Chapter on Autography," "Pinakidia," "Some Secrets
of the Magazine Prison-House," "Anastatic Printing" and "Cryptography." An
account of the new Poe memorial grave dedication is added, as is an article
from the New York Herald (October 28, 1875) by Dr. John J. Moran
about Poe's death. Several illustrations have also been added, including an
engraving of the Poe monument and a "frontispiece" for "The Raven."
Sartain's frontispiece portrait of Poe has been replaced with one by
Frederick W. Halprin (a different one than that used for the 1859 Redfield (printer)
one-volume edition of Poe's Poems).
1880 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876 format)
1881 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876 format)
W. C. Bush
1882 - not seen, but presumably a reprint of volumes I-IV
(in 1876 format)
A. C. Armstrong
1884 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876 format) (The 6
volume set appeared from the same publisher about the same time.)
1884 - expanded to 6 volumes (Although the text is newly typeset
and some obvious errors are corrected, others remain. This fact indicates
that the basis for the text is still the Griswold (editor) edition.)
1887 - not seen, but apparently a reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876
1894 - reprint of volumes I-VI (in 1884 format. Called the
1889 - not seen, but apparently a reprint of volumes I-IV
(in 1876 format) (Publisher is given as Macmillian.)
1894 - not seen, but apparently a reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876
format) (Publisher is given as Macmillian.)
1898 - Prose Tales, selected short stories by Poe, in one volume.
(Publisher is Thomas Y. Crowell and Co.) (This editions is prefaced by the
following comment: "THE twelve tales here presented are
generally regarded as representative of Poe's peculiar genius. They are
selected from the edition of 1850, published by Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) , Poe's faithful
mother-in-law and good angel. The introduction, by James Russel Lowell,
which gives as a biographical item Poe's mythical visit to St. Petersburg,
and the portrait, are both from the same edition, -- an edition so rare that
it is not in the Boston Public Library or in the Athenćum." Although it
claims to be from the 1850 edition, the text include errors from the 1856
printing of Griswold (editor) 's edition.)
1899 - reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876 format) (Publisher is
given as Soho Square, London: A & C Black) (The format may follow the
1874-1875 Ingram edition rather than the Widdleton format.)
1899 - not seen, but apparently a reprint of volumes I-IV (in 1876
format) (Publisher is given as Macmillian. Called the "Standard Edition")
1902 - Introduction and designs copyrighted by George Putnam's
Sons. (Ten volumes, but continues several of the errors from the Griswold (editor)
edition. The introduction is now by Charles F. Richardson.)
1903 - copyrighted by P. F. Collier & Son. (Five volumes, but
continues several of the errors from the Griswold (editor) edition. Called the "Raven
Edition.") (Still carries the introductory articles by Willis and Lowell.)
. . . and others.
Census of Copies:There are so many surviving
copies of these volumes that a complete listing is impractical and unnecessary.
This census records copies of special interest. The provenance of each entry is
established as authoritatively as possible, given the sketchy and often
convoluted bits of information available. In nearly all case, the chain of
owners has gaps, especially among the early owners, whose names are generally
known only if the owner left an inscription.
H. Bradley Martin. The first three volumes, inscribed by Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
in brown ink (vol. I - "To the Misses Strong from their sincere friend
Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) "; vol II - "To the Misses Strong from their grateful friend Maria
Clemm (mother-in-law) "; vol III - "To the Misses Strong from their affectionate friend") The
list of prior owners is as follows" 1. Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
and aunt); 2. The Misses Strong (given to these sisters by Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
); 3. William K. Bixby (1857-1931), St. Louis collector; 4.
H. Bradley Martin (The collection of H. Bradley Martin was sold at an auction
by Southeby's on January 30 and 31, 1990); 5. David P. Elkovitch (Mr.
Elkovitch offered the item for sale on Ebay on April 12, 2001, where it was
bought by a private collector in New York).
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin,
Texas. (formerly from the collections of William H. Koester and Stephen
Wakeman. The first two volumes, inscribed by Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
(vol I - "To A.
Bardwell Heywood, Esq., from his sincere friend Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
"; vol II - "To
Dear Bardie, from his affectionate friend, Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) ." Included with this
copy, tipped on the fly-leaf of volume I, is a letter from Maria Clemm (mother-in-law)
Fitz-Greeene Halleck: "Dear Sir: I am induced by a recollection of a former
kindness, to intrude upon your time and patience. The publisher of my late
son's (E. A. Poe) works only allow me . . . as many copies as I choose to
dispose of. But owing to precarious health and great delicacy of feeling I can
only avail myself of this privilege through the kindness of others. Will you
have the goodness to purchase of me a copy (consisting of three volumes) at
$3.75 when I tell you I am a widow, childless, and this my only dependence, I
hope this appeal will not be in vain. Please direct to me care of Wm. Strong,
Milford, Conn. Respectfully, Maria Clemm (mother-in-law) " (quoted in the Wakeman catalogue of
1924, item 958.) At the Wakeman auction, this item was sold on April 29, 1924
for $240. At the same auction, a copy of volume I only, with a tipped letter
from J. R. Lowell to I. Henry Hager, sold for $22.50. The letter by Lowell
reads in part, "One cannot help feeling in sympathy with any defence of those
who are dumb ain death, & I think yours of Poe exceeedingly well done. But
I am unwilling to sit in judgement, perhaps incompetent. I have a high opinion
of Poe's genius -- a very low one of his character. I am sure only of this,
that it's worse than unwise to revive forgotten scandals. . ." (quoted in the
Wakeman catalogue of 1924, item 959.)
N. P. Willis (copy of volumes I and II). This is apparently a review
copy of volumes I & II, inscribed upside down on the back end-paper:
"Editors of the 'Union' from the Publisher with respects of Taylor & Maury. Jan. 15th/50." It also contains a bookseller's ticket: "Taylor &
Maury, Booksellers & Stationers . . ." Volume II contains two ownership
autographs by Poe's friend Nathaniel Parker Willis. According to the auction
catalogue for the Frank J. Hogan sale, it apparently also carries "a few other
interesting notations . . ." The provenance is uncertain. Somehow it was
acquired by Frank J. Hogan, and sold in 1945, perhaps to W. H. Koester. It
current whereabouts are uncertain, but it may be in the Koester Collection at
the University of Texas at Austin.
Henry W. Longfellow. (Longfellow purchased several sets from Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law)
as an act of charity. "Mr. Longfellow (at my requst) has taken 5 copies
and paid me for them!" (Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law) to J. R. Lowell, March 9, 1850,
quoted in Quinn, 1941, p. 461). All sets would have been of the first two
volumes, the third not being printed until several months later.
Herman Melville. Melville presented to his wife a copy of the
4-volume set, presumably the 1859 edition, with the inscription: "To My Wife
New Year's Day — 1861." (This set is mentioned by Merton Sealts in "Melville's
Reading: A Checklist of Books Owned and Borrowed," Harvard Library
Bulletin, III (Autumn 1949), 418.)
- American Art Association Auction Catalogue, The Stephen H. Wakeman
Collection of Books of Nineteenth Century American Writers, April 1924
(items 958 and 959).
- Bayless, Joy, Rufus Wilmot Griswold (editor) : Poe's Literary Executor,
Nashville, Tennesee: Vanderbilt University Press, 1943. (The edition of Poe's
works is chiefly discussed in Chapter VIII: "Liteary Executor of Edgar Allan
Poe," pp. 161-200.)
- Blanck, Jacob, "Edgar Allan Poe," Bibliography of American
Literature; volume 7: James Kirke Paulding to Frank Richard Stockton, New
Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983. (Volume 7 is edited and completed
by Virginia L. Smyers and Michael Winship. For Griswold (editor) 's editions, see items
16158- 16161, pp. 123-125.)
- Campbell, Killis, "The Poe-Griswold (editor) Controversy," The Mind of Poe and
Other Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1933,
pp. 63-98. (This article originally appeared in PMLA, XXXIV, Sept.
1919, pp. 436-464.)
- Derby, James Cephas, Fifty Years Among Authors, Books, and
Publishers, New York: G. W. Carleton & Co., 1884 (reprinted in 1885
- Gimbel, Colonel Richard, "Quoth the Raven: An Exhibition of the Work of
Edgar Allan Poe," The Yale University Library Gazette, vol. 33, No. 4,
Paril 1959, pp. 138-189. (The cotnract between Mrs. Clemm (mother-in-law)
and Griswold (editor) is item
123, on pages 180-181. It is reproduced in facsimile facing page 185. Other
relevant items are 125, 126-127, 128, 131 and 133.)
- Griswold (editor) , Rufus Wilmot, ed., The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe,
New York: J. S. Redfield (printer) , 4 vols, 1850-1856.
- Harrison, James A., "Editor's Preface," in The Complete Works of Edgar
Allan Poe, New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1902. (vol. I, pp. vii-xx. The preface
is dated "March 25, 1902.") (Volume XVII contains letters by and about Poe. It
was reprinted as volume II of The Life and Letters of Edgar Allan Poe,
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1903.)
- Hatvary, George Egon, "The Whereabouts of Poe's 'Fifty Suggestions',"
Poe Studies, IV, No. 2, December 1971, p. 47.
- Heartman, Charles F and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings
of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 1943, pp.
129-133. (Reprinted, Millwood, New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1977.)
- O'Neill, Edward H., "The Poe-Griswold (editor) -Harrison Texts of the 'Marginalia',"
American Literature, XV, November 1943, pp. 238-250.
- Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. Auction Catalogue, The Frank J. Hogan
Library: Part One - American Authors, First Editions, Autograph Lettes,
Manuscripts, January 23 and 24, 1945 (items 584 and 585). (The only
significant information here is the description of item 584, which includes
the volume with N. P. Willis' autographs.)
- Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe,
volume I: Poems (1969); volumes II & III: Tales and Sketches
(1978), Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
- Miller, John Carl, Building Poe Biography, Baton Rouge: Louisiana
State University Press, 1977.
- Moldenhauer, Joseph J., "Mabbott's Poe and the Question of Copy-Texts,"
Poe Studies, XI, no. 2, December 1978, pp. 41-46. (Moldenhauer questions T. O.
Mabbott's reliance on Griswold (editor) 's versions of Poe's works as his chief source
for a definitive text.)
- Pollin, Burton R., "Introduction: Marginalia," The Collected Writings
of Edgar Allan Poe; volume 2: The Brevities, New York: Gordian Press,
1985, pp. xv-xxii.
- Pollin, Burton R., "The Living Writers of America: A Manuscript by
Edgar Allan Poe," Studies in the American Renaissance 1991,
Charlottesville, Virginia: The University Press of Virginia, 1991, pp.
- Pollin, Burton R., "A Comprehensive Bibliography of Editions and
Translations of Arthur Gordon Pym," ATQ (American
Transcendental Quarterly), Winter 1978, pp. 93- 110. (Pollin lists several
printings of the Griswold (editor) edition on page 106, items 2 and 4.)
- Quinn, Arthur Hobson, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, New
York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1941.
- Thompson, John Ruben, The Genius and Character of Edgar Allan Poe,
privately printed, 1929. (Edited and arranged by James H. Whitty and James H.
- Southeby Auction Catalogue, The Library of H. Bradley Martin: Highly
Important American and Children's Literature, New York, January 30 and 31,
1990, item 2213.
- Woodberry, George E. (assigned as writer of this anonymous review by
Killis Campbell), The Nation, December 4, 1902, p. 445-447.
~~~ End of Text ~~~
- Woodberry, George E. and Edmund Clarence Stedman, "General Preface," The
Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Chicago: Stone and Kimball, 1894-1895 (reprinted by
New York: The Colonial Company, 1903 and Charles Scribners's Sons, 1920).