Poe and Photography

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

At first, just these very general questions to the Poe specialists out there. Does the then new medium of Photography play a role in any of Poe's fiction? Did express any thoughts about photography in his correspondence or in essays? I know this could be a big one to answer, but then again, maybe not. I will be content with general answers for now. I just found a postcard of a photo showing Poe ca. 1845 at the George Eastman House. Here is an easier question: how many photographs of Poe are known? And how many of these are on paper; that is, not Daguerreotypes?

Thanks in advance for any help on this matter, JMC

-- Anonymous, August 16, 2002


There are a few short filler items on daguerreotypes, attributed to Poe. It is not featured in any of his stories. (The word "photograph" is rather modern and does not appear in anything Poe wrote. He does use the word "daguerreotype" in a footnote to his 1002nd Tale of Scheherazade.) If there is a comment in his letters, it is just a statement that he sat for a portrait somewhere, but no descriptions or details. There are 8 known "photographs" of Poe, all of them originally daguerreotypes. (Several were later copied in various forms, including on paper.) The book you want to check is Michael Deas, Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe (1988).

-- Anonymous, August 16, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ