Tales of Mystery and Imagination - First Edition

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I am trying to find out when Poe's collection called Tales of Mystery and Imagination was first published, as well as by whom. If you have this information, I'd really appreciate you passing it on.

Many thanks,


-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002


Dear Alice P., It is a common error to believe that the precise title "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" came from either Poe himself or some American editor. This precise title was given, for the first time, to an early BRITISH selection of some of Poe's tales and poems, reprinted from the 1850-Griswold-Redfield (NY) edition in two volumes. The exact title was "Tales of Mystery, Imagination and Humour..."; it was issued as the first series of the so- called "Readable Books", illustrated, and published by Vizetelly & Clarke (London) in February, 1852. A sequel was given with the same title in December, sometimes dated 1853 (the ninth of the series), also with charming illustrations. Later, we regularly find reprints of various selections from Poe's prose fiction under this unauthorised appellation, in the U.S. as well as in other English- speaking countries. Hoping this sufficiently informative for you, yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002

I have an early (I presume - no date shown)leather bound copy of "Tales of Mystery, Imagination, and Humour; and poems" by EAP. It was printed in London by Ward & Lock 158 Fleet Street. The inside page proudly announces "Illustrated with twenty-six engarvings on wood".

It has embossed in one top corner ROLANDI, Foreign Bookseller, circulating libary 20 Berners Street, London.

If you have any info on the book I would be interested.


Nick Webb

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

Here for Mr Nick Webb and others. Your volume, as described, if with 256 pp., is surely the exact reprint of the one edited by Vizetelly in 1852 ("Readable Books" series, nr one). This book was regularly reprinted by Clarke & Beeton, successors of Vizetelly, in 1853, 1854, 1855... , alone or combined with the second one of the series. About 1865, they were resold by Ward & Lock, as new reprints from the same plates (look at the ink of the wood- engravings: the more pale or filmy, certainly at a later date). In 1866, a new presentation appears, beginning with Poe's Poetical Works, together with a partially new selection of tales, and with some new pictures too. In 1878, we find again parts of those original selections, reprinted by the "new" firm Ward, Lock & Tyler. I cannot precise the exact dates of these editors's successions, but the "chain", I think, is correct. Thus, your volume was probably issued between half of the 1860's and half of the 1870's, a matter of little importance, I fear. Note that if not bound, and with its original printed hard-cover, your exemplar would have been perhaps more easily dated. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2002

A while ago I bought 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination', it has no publishers date on it anywhere but has two indistinguishable symbols at the top and bottom of the spine. The publisher is T. Nelson and Sons, Ltd and they were established is 1798, im not sure if the printer is still around, I have looked. It is a hard back leather material cover with thistles in each corner and a circle in the center. I am astounded at the mystery of this book and have exausted all of my research leads. I hope you have more luck than I.



-- Anonymous, October 17, 2004

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