selling of the raven, nevermore : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

i heard that the raven in the poem was actually sold in one of poe's drunken/drug induced fits. i wondering if this is true and if so who bought it, how much did they pay, and what year was this.

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2000



Poes poem The Raven, arguably the most recognized and well known work by an American poet, was first printed in the American Review in February, 1845. Poe had been forced by desperate circumstances to accept a post with the New York Evening Mirror and the poem had been copied and printed by the Evening Mirror from the American Review for its January issue of 1845.

The Raven was sold by Poe to the American Review for a pittance. I believe Poe was living in New York at the time near 84th Street and was vigilantly attending his wife, Virginia. Stricken with tuberculosis, Virginia often seemed to improve somewhat but would inevitably begin to deteriorate and each cycle would fill Poe with increased despair and dread. He was said to have stayed by her bedside for days at a time and would become enraged at any mention that Virginia would not survive. It is thought that it was this period, late 1844 to early 1845, that he began this poem and that it was born of the despair he must have felt.

Today, without question, the value of the original manuscript would be priceless, yet depending on the source, the price paid by the American Review ranged only from ten dollars to some forty dollars. Not a very profitable exchange for Poe. Was it sold in an alcohol/drug induced fit? I doubt it. His desperation at the time was his concern for his wife. However, while Poe did not profit financially, the poem clearly established him as a serious poet and author. Poe was well known as a literary critic and author of short stories but was not nearly as popular for his poetry until The Raven was published.

Its enduring popularity (and importance to American Literature) is merited by its incredibly brilliant phrasing, its wonderful rhythm and narrowly focused theme, a theme of love and utter devotion by a lover for the loss of his lifes greatest love.


-- Anonymous, August 27, 2000


-- Anonymous, October 07, 2002

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