Information about E.A.Poe complete Poems with an original Memoir : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Dear Ladies & Gentleman, as a gift I received a blue booklet 3.7'' x 5.7 ''x 1''. with the title "The Poems of Edgar A. Poe". First Page inside: Pikture of A.E. Poe Second Page; Poems by Edgar Allan Poe complete with an original Memoir New York W.J. Widdleton Publisher M.DCCC.LXIX ( 1869 ). Third Page: Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by W.J. Widdleton In the Clerk's office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Alvord, Printer Forth Page; Preface to the Poems by E.A.P

Fifth Page: Memoir of Edgar Allan Poe, by Doctor Griswold, and Published in New York by W.J. Widdleton.

What can you tell me about this booklet. I deeply appreciate your effort

Sicerely Edmund Pennartz

-- Anonymous, December 25, 2003


Your information is precise: your volume is nothing but the usual reprint of the Griswold 1850 corpus of Poe's "Poetical Works" as published in the vol. II (NY - Redfield) of his posthumously collected works. And Widdleton was the successor of Redfield, from 1860-1, and published again and again Poe's "Poems", with various prefatory matters & memoirs (sometimes anonymous), various graphic interpretations of Poe's picture(s) (engraved by Sartain, Cooper, Halpin...), in various sizes and bindings, and sometimes with sumptuous illustrations invariably purloined from various British editions. Note that all these US reprints always omit (until 1876!... and still very often after this date....) Poe's early conspicuous gem called "To Helen" ("Helen, thy beauty is to me..."). Note, too, that Poe's isolated poetical works are far less frequently introduced by Griswold's 1850 original (infamous) memoir than his prose- or "complete-" works. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2003

These few words more just to confirm what I was suspecting yesterday: the "Original Memoir" you are (mis)evoking is not at all from Griswold's pen (1850), but a mere reprint of the anonymous one (sometimes attributed, though unconvincingly, to Ch. F. Briggs) prefixed to the luxuous - profusely illustrated - British (London 1858 Sampson Low // New York 1858 Redfield reprint) edition of Poe's "Poetical Works"; this rather bitter "memoir", strongly based upon Griswold's data (as confirmed by what you have found at p. 39 -- if I rightly guessed from your information -- of your volume, and thence your mistake), is almost the sole one introducing every US post-1858 edition of Poe's "Poems", until the new (far larger) one published by R. H. Stoddard in 1874 (London & New York). On the other hand, the "Preface by E. A. Poe" is actually the one written for his own 1845 edition (Wiley & Putnam). And the illustration for "The Raven" you probably can find facing p. 43, is merely a US (by one Richardson) freely adapted mirror (!) copy of the one (by Wehnert, engraved by Dalziel) issued in the early 1853-56 London Addey edition of Poe's "Poetical Works" with the remarkable short essay by Hannay. All this may show and attest how rapidly Poe's poems obtained considerable favor among British people, and how servily US editors were following the British ones for this precise matter... Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2003

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