1st edition of stories

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Can anyone tell me what a first edition of Poe stories in good condition would be worth today. Round figures, this is for background. Alas I do not own such a volume.

2. Can anyone tell when "The Gold Bug" was written and where it first appeared, and where it first appeared in book form? (bonus marks if you can tell what such a volume would be worth today.)

Anybody with the answers, can have a signed MS of the relevant chapter of my upcoming novel

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002


First editions of Poe's stories can fetch all kinds of prices, depending on desirability and rarity. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" first appeared in Graham's Magazine (1841) and the volume containing it regularly sells in the $1000-2,000 range, with some variation for condition. The 1843 reprint of the story, along with one other tale, as The Prose Romances of Edgar Allan Poe is very scarce (only about 12 copies) and can easily exceed $50,000, while first printings of Poe's Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840) may fetch $10,000 and Tales (1845) about $20,000. Oddly, almost none of the book versions are first printings, all of the tales having first appeared in magazines and newspapers.

"The Gold Bug" first appeared in The Dollar Newspaper (a Philadelpia publication) in June and July of 1843. (Poe won a $100 prize for the best short story submitted to a contest.) The only known copy of that issue of the newspaper has long been lost. It first appeared in book form as part of the 1845 edition of Tales (published by Wiley and Putnam). Poe's own copy of Tales (now at the University of Texas) contains several manuscript changes which were not incorporated by Griswold in his 1850 collection of Poe's works.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

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