Text: George E. Woodberry, “Chapter 04,” The Life of Edgar Allan Poe: Personal and Literary (1909), vol. I, pp. 86-134


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[page 86:]

Chapter IV

THE YOUNG ROMANCER

POE settled at Baltimore among his kindred. He found there his elder brother, William Henry Leonard, then twenty-four years old, who had been reared by his grandfather, General Poe. This young man, who was then thought more brilliant than Edgar, was possessed of much grace, with gifts of voice and manner and with poetical tastes such that he wrote verses and even published them. He was a wild youth and had been sent on voyages abroad, but this may have been due also to his weak constitution; he was now in Baltimore and rapidly failing, and must have been an associate of Edgar during the few remaining months that he lived; he died in July. There is no record of Poe’s having lived else where in Baltimore than with his father’s sister, Mrs. Clemm, with whom she said he lived during his earlier stay, in 1829. She had married a widower, who had died February 8, 1826; besides herself, her household consisted of a daughter aged nine, who afterwards married [page 87:] Poe, and a step-daughter who married Neilson Poe. The place of her residence is not determined by any document earlier than the spring of 1831,(1) when she lived modestly in the upper story of a small dwelling-house, and took in sewing. There were besides, in Baltimore, the families of two cousins, one Neilson Poe, the other Miss Herring, with both of whom Poe had constant communication. He received, from 1833, if not before, an annuity from Mr. Allan, and to this were added for his support his slender earnings, if indeed there were any earnings. He was beginning his literary career; his situation was that of a young writer who had not yet dis closed his powers with effect and was waiting for opportunity and recognition; meanwhile, so far as can now be gathered, he lived during these years, certainly from 1831 if not from the beginning, in the humble home of his kindred and shared their fortunes, contributing his allowance from Mr. Allan to the general stock.

Immediately on his arrival in the city he asked employment of his former acquaintance, William Gwynn, the editor, and it is noticeable that the form of his application shows that he still kept on some terms with Mr. Allan: [page 88:]

May 6, 1831.

MR. W. GWYNN:

Dear Sir, I am almost ashamed to ask any favour at your hands after my foolish conduct upon a former occasion but I trust to your good nature.

I am very anxious to remain and settle myself in Baltimore, as Mr. Allan has married again and I no longer look upon Richmond as my place of residence.

This wish of mine has also met with his approbation. I wish to request your influence in obtaining some situation or employment in this city. Salary would be a minor consideration, but I do not wish to be idle.

Perhaps (since I understand Neilson has left you) you might be so kind as to employ me in your office in some capacity.

If so I will use every exertion to deserve your confidence. Very respectfully yr. ob. St.,

EDGAR A. POE.

I would have waited upon you personally, but am confined to my room with a severe sprain in my knee.(1)

Mr. Gwynn seems not to have exercised the [page 89:] Christian grace of forgiveness. Within a few weeks Poe turned to another Baltimore acquaintance, Mr. Brooks, who had recently opened a school at Reisterstown, not far from the city, and offered himself as an assistant; but of this, too, nothing came.

The only intimate knowledge of him during these years comes from the slender evidence of two young girls and a literary youth; all represent him as living with Mrs. Clemm. The reminiscences of the former are romantic, and continue the tale of his flirtations, so lucklessly begun with Miss Royster in Richmond, to his experiences with whom must be referred many passages of his poems in the three early volumes. He had long recovered from this youthful disappointment, and the course of mortal love ran again in its ordinary channels. He had been from boyhood fond of girls. He turned his attention to his fair cousin, Miss Herring, who was now sixteen. She dates his calls upon her positively from 1830 to 1834, and says, “He came at short intervals on flying visits from Philadelphia and other places.”(1) Her sister was within a few [page 90:] days of the same age as Virginia Clemm, and a cousinly intimacy existed between the families. “Almost always his visits to her were during the morning or afternoon, when he could see her alone. His attentions to her were not approved of by her father, first because he was her cousin, and then for the reason that he considered him poor and inclined to drink. It was on these occasions that he would write verses in her album, call her his fair cousin, and read aloud to her, and was generally fascinating. In 1834, at eighteen, she was married and went to live in Virginia, and the pleasant visits and intercourse were at an end for a time.”(1)

The second group of similar reminiscences is more exciting. It comes from an unnamed lady.(2) She lived in the neighborhood, and Poe’s attentions to her began by an exchange of hand kerchief signals, and lasted from summer to summer for a year; she was seventeen years old. [page 91:] She relates that he visited her every evening, strolled with her, offered marriage, and on one summer night, being near a minister’s house, said, “Come, Mary, let us go and get married; we might as well get married now as any other time.” She was frightened, and ran home. She describes him as then recently from West Point, and says that the other girls were afraid of him, and forsook her company on account of her flirtation. Her family opposed the match; and the final break was occasioned by a visit to her late in the evening, after a tavern dinner with some of his West Point classmates whom he had casually met, at an earlier hour, on his way to her house. He had been drinking champagne, but this was the only time that year that she knew him to take anything of the sort or saw any trace of indulgence. His behavior, which is described in vivid detail, was a youthful example of his conduct in later life on such occasions; in consequence of it he was forbidden the house and his letters, which were always brought by Virginia, were returned unopened; but, on his continuing his solicitation, she opened one, and showed it to her family. A middle-aged uncle, whom Poe especially disliked, took it upon himself to write a note to the youth, who was also [page 92:] publicly complaining in verse of her inconstancy; but the interference was unfortunate, inasmuch as it resulted in Poe’s visiting the writer at his place of business and cowhiding him, after which Poe went to the house of the young lady, called for her father, told him what he had done, and cast the cowhide at her feet, saying, “There, I make you a present of that.” She was after wards married, and went to the North. She re marks that she knew none of Poe’s male friends. These twin accounts of the feminine side of Poe’s life are supplemented by the recollections of Lambert A. Wilmer, a young journalist, who, in 1833, edited the new weekly literary paper, the “Baltimore Saturday Visiter”: “My acquaintance with Poe,” he says, “commenced in Baltimore soon after his return from St. Petersburg. . . . His time appeared to be constantly occupied by his literary labors; he had already published a volume of poems, and written several of those minor romances which afterwards appeared in the collection called Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. He lived in a very retired way with his aunt, Mrs. Clemm, and his moral deportment, as far as my observation extended, was altogether correct. . . . In his youthful days Poe’s personal appearance was [page 93:] delicate and effeminate, but never sickly or ghastly, and I never saw him in any dress which was not fashionably neat, with some approximation to elegance. Indeed, I often wondered how he could continue to equip himself so handsomely, considering that his pecuniary resources were generally scanty and precarious enough. My intercourse with Poe was almost continuous for weeks together. Almost every day we took long walks in the rural districts near Baltimore, and had long conversations on a great variety of subjects. . . . His general habits at that time were strictly temperate, and but for one or two incidents I might have supposed him to be a member of the cold-water army.”(1)

The incidents referred to were, first, one occasion when Poe set out some Jamaica rum at his lodgings, a customary courtesy in the South, and drank moderately with his guest; and a second, when Mrs. Clemm scolded the young man for coming home intoxicated the night before from a tavern supper, plainly the same mentioned above, but as if it were a rare occurrence. It is, however, singular, if Wilmer were at all Poe’s confidant, that he, who must have known of the

[page 94:] public scandal of Poe’s fracas, and who probably published in his paper the satirical poem to the young lady, should have elsewhere described Poe as “the most passionless” of all the men he had ever known. Poe was never indifferent to women and always fascinated them, young or old. The picture of Poe’s figure corresponds with other slight traces of his appearance. Hewitt, who was later his successful rival in verse, says he “wore Byron collars and a black stock, and looked the poet all over.” In his features there was, undoubtedly, a delicacy which was perhaps the pallor of his Southern complexion; his companion, who was of a coarser fibre, mistook his refinement for effeminacy, but perceived that he was possessed of quick sympathies and an affectionate disposition.(1)

Poe’s relations with the Allan family during [page 95:] these years were not friendly, but neither were they completely broken. He was given an allowance by Mr. Allan, and there was some correspondence and one visit. In the summer of 1831, three weeks after the birth of an heir to Mr. Allan, Poe went to Richmond and, according to the Allan tradition, made his way to the bed room of the mother, reviled her and the baby, and was ejected from the house by the butler.(1) It must have been on this occasion that, as is said, he threw stones at the house. He refers to this visit in his autographic memorandum(2) of a later date: “Mrs. A[llan] and myself quarreled, and he [Mr. Allan], siding with her, wrote me an angry letter, to which I replied in the same spirit.” His own version of what took place on his first return to the house was preserved by the MacKenzies. He behaved as if he expected to be treated as a member of the family, asked for Miss Valentine, and gave his bag to the servant to be taken to his own old room. He was told that his room had been converted into a guest-chamber and his personal belongings put in an other small room; and, on Mrs. Allan’s appearance, [page 96:] he reproached her for this treatment, high words passed, and, Mr. Allan being appealed to by messenger, Poe was told to leave the house. He had no conversation with Mr. Allan, who entered as he left; he went to the MacKenzies, where he told the tale, and, receiving money from them and Miss Valentine, he returned to Baltimore.(1) The exchange of letters seems to have followed, and written communications continued, however infrequently, through these years. His inamorata refers to such correspondence. “Poe once gave me,” she says, “a letter to read from Mr. Allan, in which the latter said, referring to me, that if he married any such person he would cut him off without a shilling.” Poe was then receiving an annuity from Mr. Allan, sufficient for his support, as he later told Mr. Kennedy. It is clear, if there was any basis [page 97:] for these statements relative to money, that Mr. Allan supported Poe, and that Poe still expected Mr. Allan to make some provision for him by will.

Such was the apparent life, known to his associates, that Poe led during the first two years of his residence in Baltimore. His true life was in his Aladdin’s garret, even if there he also waved his handkerchief to his unknown neighbor across the street. All that really matters is that he there discovered his genius for the prose tale, both imaginative and satirical. Baltimore was not the most promising field for a young poet to seek his fortune in; less than four years before, Pinkney, who had resided there since childhood, had died at the age of twenty-five from the effects of poverty and discouragement suffered just as his genius was breaking forth. At the present time there were two literary sets in the city, of which Kennedy and his friends at the club constituted one, and a half-dozen obscure young men Arthur, Carpenter, MacJilton [[McJilton]], Brooks, Hewitt, and Dawes, whose names were current in the literature of the day and will occur in this narrative made up the other; but to the former Poe was a stranger, and to the latter he was only slightly known as a youthful pretender to the [page 98:] laurel. He wisely turned his attention to prose; and, whatever else he did within the two years, had written at least six tales when, in 1833, in the summer, the “Baltimore Saturday Visiter,” the new weekly literary paper edited by Wilmer, sought public attention in a way not unusual among contemporary periodicals of its class by offering two prizes: one of one hundred dollars for the best tale in prose, the other of fifty dollars for the best short poem, which should be presented within a fixed time. Poe determined to send in the tales which he was so fortunately supplied with, and the better to secure his success to send in all of them.

The judges of this literary contest were Dr. James H. Miller, J. H. B. Latrobe, Esq., and John P. Kennedy, Esq., who had published a year before his pleasant sketches entitled “Swallow Barn. When these gentlemen met, according to the recollection of Mr. Latrobe, which, although inaccurate in detail, seems substantially true, nearly all the manuscripts were examined more and more cursorily before a certain small quarto-bound book was noticed; Mr. Latrobe on taking it up found it entitled “Tales of the Folio Club,” and written very neatly in Roman characters, and on reading it to his associates [page 99:] the stories proved so agreeable a diversion over the wine and cigars that the first prize was immediately awarded to its author. Among the poems, too, one entitled “The Coliseum” was regarded as the best, but being in the same hand as the successful tales was ruled out, and the second prize awarded to Hewitt, the reviewer of Poe’s “Al Aaraaf” four years before. On October 12 these decisions were announced in the “Saturday Visiter”; one of the tales, “MS. Found in a Bottle,” was published as the prize story, and the name of its author given as Edgar Allan Poe.

To that young man, notwithstanding the allowance from Mr. Allan, the hard cash as well as the encouragement and the flattering card of the judges, advising the author to print all his tales in a book, must have been very welcome; but of much more importance was the association with Mr. Kennedy that then began. The publisher is said to have called, the next day after the announcement of the award, upon that kind-hearted gentleman who all his life was seeking out and advancing merit, and to have given him such an account of the author of the tale as to excite his curiosity and sympathy and cause him to request that Poe should be brought to his [page 100:] office.(1) He was introduced the following day, and visited Mr. Latrobe immediately after on the same day; and he also made the acquaintance of Dr. Miller, with whom later he had some correspondence. Mr. Latrobe, some years afterwards, described(2) him as below the middle stature, erect in carriage, self-possessed in manner, and grave in countenance until he became animated in conversation, when his face lighted up and his manner became demonstrative; his appearance was poor, but not shabby, and his erect and military carriage and his good breeding were especially noticeable. It is to be remarked that Mr. Latrobe limits Mr. Kennedy’s services at that time to offers of literary support. Mr. Kennedy introduced him to Carey & Lea, of Philadelphia, at once, and possibly to others, and says 3 him self that two tales were sent to them at his suggestion. [page 101:] The immediate fruit of his general advice and patronage was the issue of “The Visionary,” one of the series offered for the prize, in “Godey’s Lady’s Book” for January, 1834; but this may have been independent of the special offer to Carey & Lea. Whether earlier or later than this precise date, Poe went to Philadelphia, and personally arranged with Carey & Lea for the publication of the six tales of the “Folio Club” at least, and probably such others as he had completed.

It may well have been this sudden brightening of his fortunes, between his winning the prize, Mr. Kennedy’s patronage, the acceptance of his tale by a magazine, and the prospect of a book, together with some report of Mr. Allan’s illness, which led him to venture on a visit to his old home and an attempt at reconciliation. His hopes, whatever they were, came to naught. He went to Richmond, and called at the house; on being told by Mrs. Allan, who did not recognize him, that the physicians had forbidden her husband to see any one, he thrust her aside and walked rapidly to Mr. Allan’s chamber; on his entrance Mr. Allan raised the cane which he used to walk with, and, threatening to strike him if he came within his reach, ordered him out, a command

[page 102:] that Poe without a word at once obeyed.(1) This was the so-called violent scene in which the two parted. It is also related that the reason for Mr. Allan’s hard action was that Poe had forged his name.(2) Poe’s own description of the rupture [page 103:] in general was that, led by a chivalrous feeling, he “deliberately threw away a large fortune rather than endure a trivial wrong,” a phrase plainly referring to the action of Mrs. Allan in taking possession of his old room in the house. Mr. Allan died on March 27, 1834, of the dropsy, leaving three children. Poe was not named in the will.

He returned to Baltimore to follow the literary career as best he could, but he was perhaps less welcome than formerly at the “Visiter,” where he had published his poem “The Coliseum” and probably other matter, since Wilmer had been crowded out of his place by Hewitt and had left the city on foot and in want to seek his living in other quarters. Poe sent him a prospectus of a

[page 104:] new magazine to be edited by them jointly in Baltimore. When fall came, his fortunes were at their lowest ebb; and, not finding the Philadelphia house forward in publishing his book, he applied to Mr. Kennedy for his intervention, and made known his real situation for the first time: —

BALTO., Nov., 1834.

DR SIR, I have a favor to beg of you which I thought it better to ask in writing, because, sincerely, I had not courage to ask it in person. I am indeed too well aware that I have no claim whatever to your attention, and that even the manner of my introduction to your notice was, at the best equivocal. Since the day you first saw me my situation in life has altered materially. At that time I looked forward to the inheritance of a large fortune, and, in the meantime, was in receipt of an annuity sufficient for my support. This was allowed me by a gentleman of Virginia (Mr. Jno. Allan) who adopted me at the age of two years (both my parents being dead) and who, until lately always treated me with the affection of a father. But a second marriage on his part, and I dare say many follies on my own at length ended in a quarrel between us. He is now dead, and has left me nothing. I am thrown [page 105:] entirely upon my own resources with no profession, and very few friends. Worse than all this, I am at length penniless. Indeed no circumstances less urgent would have induced me to risk your friendship by troubling you with my distresses. But I could not help thinking that if my situation was stated as you could state it to Carey & Lea, they might be led to aid me with a small sum in consideration of my MS. now in their hands. This would relieve my immediate wants, and I could then look forward more confidently to better days. At all events receive the assurance of my gratitude for what you have already done. Most respy, yr obt st,

EDGAR ALLAN POE.(1)

Kennedy replied after an interval and in answer to a second inquiry, but he had at once interested himself in the matter.

BALTIMORE, December 22, 1834.

DEAR SIR, I have received your note, and should sooner have apprised you of what I had done, but that Carey’s letter only reached me a few days ago as I was stepping into a carriage to go to Annapolis, whence I returned only a day or two since. [page 106:]

I requested Carey immediately upon the receipt of your first letter to do something for you as speedily as he might find an opportunity, and to make some advance on your book. His answer let me know that he would go on to publish, but the expectation of any profit from the under taking he considered doubtful not from want of merit in the production, but because small books of detached tales, however well written, seldom yield a sum sufficient to enable the book seller to purchase a copyright. He recommended, however, that I should allow him to sell some of the tales to the publishers of the annuals. My reply was that I thought you would not object to this if the right to publish the same tale was reserved for the volume. He has accordingly sold one of the tales to Miss Leslie for the “Souvenir,” at a dollar a page, I think with the reservation above mentioned and has remitted me a draft for fifteen dollars which I will hand over to you as soon as you call upon me, which I hope you will do as soon as you can make it convenient. If the other tales can be sold in the same way, you will get more for the work than by an exclusive publication.

Yours truly, JOHN P. KENNEDY.(1) [page 107:]

Three months later Poe again applied to him: —

Sunday, 15 th March [1835].

DR Sir, In the paper which will be handed you with this note is an advertisement to which I most anxiously solicit your attention. It relates to the appointment of a teacher in a Public School, and I have marked it with a cross so that you may readily perceive it. In my present circumstances such a situation would be most desirable, and if your interest could obtain it for me I would always remember your kind ness with the deepest gratitude. Have I any hope? Your reply to this would greatly oblige. The 18th is fixed on for the decision of the commissioners, and the advertisement has only this moment caught my eye. This will excuse my obtruding the matter on your attention to-day. Very respy, E. A. POE.(1)

Mr. Kennedy, in reply, asked him to dinner on the same day, and received the well-known answer:

DR SIR, — Your kind invitation to dinner to day has wounded me to the quick. I cannot come and for reasons of the most humiliating [page 108:] nature in my personal appearance. You may conceive my deep mortification in making this disclosure to you but it was necessary. If you will be my friend so far as to loan me $20,(1) will call on you to-morrow otherwise it will be impossible, and I must submit to my fate. Sincerely yours,

E. A. POE.(1)

Sunday, 15 th [1835].

It was this disclosure that roused Kennedy’s acute sympathy and drew from him the personal attention to which he refers in his diary: —

“It is many years ago, I think, perhaps as early as 1833 or 34, that I found him in Baltimore in a state of starvation. I gave him clothing, free access to my table, and the use of a horse for exercise whenever he chose; in fact, brought him up from the very verge of despair.”(2)

At no earlier time could Poe be properly so described, and it is plain from the correspondence that Mr. Kennedy had not realized the seriousness of Poe’s condition, else he would sooner have helped him. Up to this time he had [page 109:] been a kind elder adviser in literary ways, desirous to assist him in obtaining an opening in literature; but from now he was a personal friend. Poe always remembered this and later services with gratitude, and acknowledged them years afterwards when he said: “Mr. Kennedy has been, at all times, a true friend to me he was the first true friend I ever had I am indebted to him for life itself.”(1)

In this very month Poe’s literary fortunes were already brightening. Upon Kennedy’s recommendation, he had sent some tales to the “Southern Literary Messenger,” still in the first year of its existence under the advisory and unpaid conduct of Mr. James Heath. Mr. T. W. White, the editor, was attracted by his new contributor’s talents, and in the current number for March had published one of the stories, “Berenice,” with a very flattering notice; at the same time he addressed a letter of inquiry to Mr. Kennedy, which elicited the following response: —

BALTIMORE, April 13, 1835.

DEAR SIR, Poe did right in referring to me. He is very clever with his pen classical and scholar-like. He wants experience and direction, [page 110:] but I have no doubt he can be made very useful to you. And, poor fellow! he is very poor. I told him to write something for every number of your magazine, and that you might find it to your advantage to give him some permanent employ. He has a volume of very bizarre tales in the hands of Carey & Lea, in Philadelphia, who for a year past have been promising to publish them. This young fellow is highly imaginative, and a little given to the terrific. He is at work upon a tragedy, but I have turned him to drudging upon whatever may make money, and I have no doubt you and he will find your ac count in each other.(1)

“Berenice” was followed by a tale in each number and some criticism. On the 3oth of May Poe wrote to Mr. White, thanking him for his kindness: —

BALTIMORE, May 30, 1835.

MR. T. W. WHITE:

Dear Sir, I duly rec d through Mr. Kennedy your favour of the 2oth enclosing $5: and an order for $4.94. I assure you it was very welcome. Miscarriages of double letters are by no means unfrequent just now, but yours, at least, [page 111:] came safely to hand. Had I reflected a moment, I should have acknowledged the rec* before. I suppose you have heard about Wm. Gwynn Jones of this place, late editor of the “Gazette.” He was detected in purloining letters from the office, to which the clerks were in the habit of admitting him familiarly. He acknowledged the theft of more than $2000 in this way at different times. He probably took even more than that, and I am quite sure that on the part of the clerks themselves advantage was taken of his arrest to embezzle double that sum. I have been a loser myself to a small amount.

I have not seen Mr. Kennedy for some days, having been too unwell to go abroad. When I saw him last he assured me his book would reach Richmond in time for your next number, and under this assurance I thought it useless to make such extracts from the book as I wished think ing you could please yourself in this matter. I cannot imagine what delays its publication, for it has been some time ready for issue.

In regard to my critique [of Mr. Kennedy’s novel] I seriously feel ashamed of what I have written. I fully intended to have given the work a thorough review, and examine it in detail. Ill health alone prevented me from so doing. At the [page 112:] time I made the hasty sketch I sent you I was so ill as to be hardly able to see the paper on which I wrote, and finished it in a state of complete exhaustion. I have not, therefore, done anything like justice to the book, and I am vexed about the matter, for Mr. Kennedy has proved himself a kind friend to me in every respect, and I am sincerely grateful to him for many acts of generosity and attention.

I read the article in the “Compiler” relating to the “Confessions of a Poet,” but there is no necessity of giving it a reply. The book is silly enough of itself, without the aid of any controversy concerning it. In your private ear, how ever, I may say a word or two. The writer “I” founds his opinion that I have not read the book simply upon one fact that I disagree with him concerning it. I have looked over his article two or three times attentively, and can see no other reason adduced by him. If this is a good reason one way, it is equally good another — ergo — he has not read the book because he disagrees with me. Neither of us having read it then, it is better to say no more about it.

But seriously I have read it from beginning to end, and was very much amused at it. My opinion concerning it is pretty much the opinion of [page 113:] the press at large. I have heard no person offer one serious word in its defense.

My notice of your “Messenger” in the “Republican” was, I am afraid, too brief for your views. But I could command no greater space in its editorial columns. I have often wondered at your preferring to insert such notices in the “Republican.” It is a paper by no means in the hands of the first people here. Would not the “American” suit as well? Its columns are equally at your service. Did you notice the alteration I made in the name of the authority of the lines to Mr. Wilde? They were written by Mrs. Dr. Buckler of this city — not Buckley. You ask me if I am perfectly satisfied with your course. I reply that I am — entirely. My poor services are not worth what you give me for them.

The high compliment of Judge Tucker is rendered doubly flattering to me by my knowledge of his literary character.

Very sincerely yours,

EDGAR A. POE.(1)

Poe here displays so intelligent and vivid an interest in the magazine and such attention — [page 114:] qualities that continued to be shown that it is quite natural to find the correspondence issue in a proposal to draw him to Richmond as an assistant, especially as Mr. Heath had relinquished his free services and had been followed by an unnamed editor whose tenure of office was of the briefest. The letters that follow continue the detailed story of his connection with the magazine: —

BALTIMORE, June 12, 1835.

MR. T. W. WHITE:

My dear Sir, I take the opportunity of sending this MS. by private hand. Your letter of June 8th I rec d yesterday morning, together with the magazines. In reply to your kind enquiries after my health, I am glad to say that I have entirely recovered although Dr. Buckler, no longer than 3 weeks ago, assured me that nothing but a sea voyage would save me. I will do my best to please you in relation to Marshall’s “Washington” if you will send it on. By what time would you wish the MS. of the Review?

I suppose you have received Mr. Calvert’s communication. He will prove a valuable correspondent. I will send you on the “American” & “Republican” as soon as the critiques come out. What I can do farther to aid the circulation [page 115:] of your magazine I will gladly do — but I must insist on your not sending me any remuneration for services of this nature. They are a pleasure to me, and no trouble whatever. Very sincerely,

EDGAR A. POE.

I congratulate you upon obtaining the services of Mr. S. He has a high reputation for talent.(1)

BALTIMORE, June 22, 1835.

MY DEAR SIR, — I recd your letter of the 18th yesterday, and this morning your reprint of the “Messenger” No. 3. While I entirely agree with you and with many of your correspondents in your opinion of this number (it being in fact one of the very best issued) , I cannot help entertaining a doubt whether it would be of any advantage to you to have the public attention called to this its second appearance by any detailed notice in the papers. There would be an air of irregularity about it — as the first edition was issued so long ago — which might even have a prejudicial effect. For indeed the veriest trifles the mere semblance of anything unusual or outré — will frequently have a pernicious influence in cases similar to this; and you must be aware that of [page 116:] all the delicate things in the world the character of a young Periodical is the most easily injured. Besides, it is undeniable that the public will not think of judging you by the appearance, or the merit, of your Magazine in November. Its present character, whether that be good or bad, is all that will influence them. I would therefore look zealously to the future, letting the past take care of itself. Adopting this view of the case, I thought it best to delay doing anything until I should hear further from you being fully assured that a little reflection will enable you to see the matter in the same light as myself. One important objection to what you proposed is the insuperable dislike entertained by the Daily Editors to notice any but the most recent publications. And although I dare say that I could, if you insist upon it, overcome the aversion in the present case, still it would be trifling to no purpose with your interest in that quarter. If, however, you disagree with me in these opinions, I will undoubtedly (upon hearing from you) do as you desire. Of course the remarks I now make will equally apply to any other of the back numbers.

Many of the contributors to No. 3 are familiarly known to me — most of them I have seen occasionally. Charles B. Shaw, the author of the [page 117:] “Alleghany Levels” [?] is an old acquaintance, and a most estimable and talented man. I can not say with truth that I had any knowledge of your son. I read the Lines to his memory in No. 9 and was much struck with an air of tender ness and unaffected simplicity which pervades them. The verses immediately following, and from the same pen, gave evidence of fine poetic feeling in the writer. I will pay especial attention to what you suggested in relation to the punctuation&c. of my future MSS.

You ask me if I would be willing to come on to Richmond if you should have occasion for my services during the coming winter. I reply that nothing would give me greater pleasure. I have been desirous for some time past of paying a visit to Richmond, and would be glad of any reasonable excuse for so doing. Indeed I am anxious to settle myself in that city, and if, by any chance, you hear of a situation likely to suit me, I would gladly accept it, were the salary even the merest trifle. I should, indeed, feel myself greatly indebted to you if through your means I could accomplish this object. What you say in the conclusion of your letter, in relation to the supervision of proof-sheets, gives me reason to hope that possibly you might find something [page 118:] for me to do in your office. If so, I should be very glad for at present only a very small portion of my time is employed.

Immediately after putting my last letter to you in the P. O. I called upon Mr. Wood as you de sired but the Magazine was then completed. Very sincerely yours,

EDGAR A. POE.

I have heard it suggested that a lighter-faced type in the headings of your various articles would improve the appearance of the “Messenger.” Do you not think so likewise? Who is the author of the “Doom”?(1)

BALTIMORE, July 20, 1835.

MY DEAR SIR, I duly rec d both your letters (July 14th and 16th) , together with the $20. I am indeed grieved to hear that your health has not been improved by your trip. I agree with you in thinking that too close attention to business has been instrumental in causing your sickness.

I saw the “Martinsburg Gazette” by accident at Mr. Kennedy’s but he is now out of town and will not be back till the fall, and I know not where to procure a copy of the paper. It merely spoke of the “Messenger” in general terms of [page 119:] commendation. Have you seen the “Young Men’s Paper” -and the N. Y. “Evening Star”? As might be supposed, I am highly gratified with Mr. Pleasant’s notice, and especially with Paulding’s. What Mr. Pleasant says in relation to the commencement of “Hans Phaal” is judicious. That part of the Tale is faulty indeed so much so that I had often thought of remodeling it entirely. I will take care and have the Letter inserted in all the Baltimore papers.

Herewith I send you a “Baltimore Visiter” of October 12th, 1833. It contains a highly complimentary letter from Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Latrobe, and Dr. Miller, of Baltimore, in relation to my self. The “Tales of the Folio Club” have only been partially published as yet. “Lionizing” was one of them. If you could in any manner contrive to have this letter copied into any of the Richmond Papers it would greatly advance a particular object which I have in view. If you could find an excuse for printing it in the “Messenger,” it would be still better. You might observe that as many contradictory opinions had been formed in relation to my Tales, and especially to “Lionizing,” you took the liberty of copying the Letter of the Baltimore Committee. [page 120:] One fact I would wish particularly noticed. The “Visiter” offered two Premiums one for the best Tale & one for the best Poem — both of which were awarded to me. The award was, however, altered, and the Premium for Poetry awarded to the second best, in consideration of my having obtained the higher prize. This Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Latrobe told me themselves. I know you will do me this favor if you can — the manner of doing it I leave altogether to your self.

I have taken much pains to procure you the Ink. Only one person in Baltimore had it — and he not for sale. As a great favor I obtained a pound at the price of $1.50. It is mixed with Linseed oil prepared after a particular fashion, which renders it expensive. I shall go down to the Steamboat as soon as I finish this letter, and if I get an opportunity of sending it I will do so.

It gives me the greatest pain to hear that my Review will not appear in No n. I cannot imagine what circumstances you allude to as preventing you from publishing. The Death of the Chief Justice, so far from rendering the Review useless, is the very thing to attract public notice to the Article. I really wish you would consider [page 121:] this matter more maturely, and if possible insert it in No. 11. Look over “Hans Phaal” and the Literary Notices by me in No. 10, and see if you have not miscalculated the sum due me. There are thirty-four columns in all. “Hans Phaal” cost me nearly a fortnight’s hard labour, and was written especially for the “Messenger.” I will not, however, sin so egregiously again in sending you a long article. I will confine myself to three or four pages.

Very sincerely yours,

EDGAR A. POE.(1)

In these letters is the earliest mention of ill health in Poe; but from this time he was subject to attacks of nervous exhaustion. He had been a rugged boy, well exercised and well fed, and as a youth in the army he was in good condition and training. While he was away from home and under no effective restraint, at the University and at West Point especially, he had shared the habits of his companions and drunk, some times heavily for a youth of his years, but generally not more than the others; indeed, at college he seems to have drunk less. There is no proof, notwithstanding wild tales of his fellow cadets, [page 122:] that he showed any dangerous or even injurious taste for liquor, even at West Point, where he was an older and harder youth than his mates; and under the eye of Mrs. Clemm, in Baltimore, he was habitually abstemious, with such occasional indulgence at most as left no immediate serious effect. While living with Mrs. Clemm, doubtless, he had been less well nourished than in his growing years, and while his diet was, perhaps, sufficient, it could not have been generous, nor such as a youth in the flush of nervous and intellectual life should have; but no sign of actual want appears until after Mr. Allan’s death, when Kennedy describes him as “in a state of starvation.” He was then penniless; he was solitary, proud, and despairing. Hereditary weakness was in his constitution; there was a blight in the family, father and mother had died early in life, his brother developed youthful dissipation and was already dead, his sister at the end of her childhood without any apparent cause had failed inwardly, and, though she lived long, remained mentally in a state of arrested development. A constitution such as this family history indicates, however reinforced by a well-nurtured boyhood and hardy outdoor life, must have been tried by bodily privation and mental strain, even [page 123:] if Poe had led a life less intellectual and less nervously exhausting, to say nothing of such influences as his youthful use of liquor may have had. He had reached the years when, in such a nature after such a career, a nervous crisis was due. The first intellectual weariness was upon him, and with it want, despondency, and stimulants in lieu of rest, happiness, and food. Mr. Kennedy was his only effectual support, his stay, a kind and invigorating friend, who, as will appear, plainly regarded his state of mind and body as one that could be cured by food, exercise, and cheerful company, by encouragement and success. The question of Poe’s physique is fundamental in his biography; he had be gun normal, healthy, and well; at twenty-five he was no longer so, nor was he ever to regain sound health. A change, however induced, had declared itself, and henceforth he suffered, at longer or shorter intervals, from prostration.

Under such conditions as have now been fully described, Poe had written all of his earlier tales;(1) the first creative impulse was exhausted, [page 124:] and his imaginative genius slept. These stand in a group by themselves as the first fruits of Poe’s genius. In conception and execution they afford types of his later works in both the arabesque and grotesque manner, as he afterwards happily named the two extremes of his style, and without requiring too close a scrutiny they illustrate the early development of his mind and art. Though there is no sign that he had written romance be fore this time, the germ of his genius for prose fiction had shown itself in his university days, when he was celebrated among his mates for his powers in extemporaneous tale-telling.(1) It is easy [page 125:] to see that Bulwer and Disraeli, the popular writers of the time, had given direction to his genius both in subject and style; and, in the arabesque tales, the contemporary interest in Ger man romance, then specially noticeable in the English reviews, shows distinctly as a moulding element in his intellectual environment. Only five of the tales are purely imaginative, and of these “Berenice” is the most varied and comprehensive: in it Poe’s hero first comes upon the stage, a man struck with some secret disease, given to the use of drugs and to musing over old books in an antiquated and gloomy chamber, and reserved for a horrible experience. In it, too, are such themes of evil fascination for his mind as the epileptic patient and the premature burial; such marks of his handling as the cousinship of the principal actors, the description of morbid physical changes, the minute analysis of sensations, the half-superstitious reference to metempsychosis, and the vivid analysis of the effects of drugs; and such traits of literary style as the [page 126:] absence of conversation, the theatrically elaborated scene of the action, the speed of the narrative with its sudden and yet carefully prepared catastrophe. “Berenice” reveals a mind at once analytical and constructive, in which the imagination is the dominant faculty and a taste for sensuous effects, melodramatic incidents, and fantastic suggestions is the most shaping in fluence. Defective as the tale is in refinement, — Poe never but once indulged again in a dénouement of such mere physical horror, — it exhibits, in however crude a form, the capacity to conceive startling imaginative effects and to select the right means to bring them about directly, forcibly, and without observation; in a word, artistic power. In the Venetian story of “The Visionary,” now known as “The Assignation,” there is more of splendid coloring, of the purely spectacular and decorative element; in the Hungarian myth of “Metzengerstein” there is a more violent and raw superstition; in “Morella” — the history of the revolting victory of that aspiring will, by which the dying mother’s spirit, passing into her new-born babe, retained in that childish frame the full intelligence and ripe passions of womanhood there is a solemn and breathless dread beneath the coming of a [page 127:] vague but sure terror: and these several traits individualize the three tales, but in none of them is there the finely wrought complexity of “Berenice.” All yield, however, in comparison with the fifth and last of the early arabesque series, the parable called “Shadow,” which, within its narrow limits of a page or two, is at once the most noble and most artistic expression of Poe’s imagination during the first period of his career, and furthermore is alone distinguished by the even flow and delicacy of transition that belong to his best prose style. The elements in this rhapsody of gloom are simple and massive, the accessories in perfect keeping; the fine monotone of stifled and expectant emotion in the breasts of the Greek revelers in the lighted, sepulchral, plague-isolated hall is just sustained at its initial pitch until the one thrilling, solitary change arises in the emergence of the shadow from the black draperies of the chamber, and its motionless relief under the gloom of the seven iron lamps, against the burnished, brazen door, opposite to the feet of the young and shrouded Zoilus — as it were the semblance of a man, but “the shadow neither of man, nor of God, nor of any familiar thing,” — the vague, formless One that was not indifferent to the low-voiced question of Oinos, [page 128:] but spoke and told its dwelling-place and its appellation; “and then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable, fell duskily upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand de parted friends.”

Perhaps the “MS. Found in a Bottle,” full as it is of fantasy and magnificent scenic effects of ocean views, should be placed among the tales of pure imagination; it stands slightly apart from them only because it has some relationship with those stories, partly of adventure, partly of science, which Poe built rather out of his acquired knowledge than his dreams. Of this class “Hans Pfaall,” the narrative of a voyage to the moon, is the first complete type. The idea of such a passage from the earth to its nearest neighbor in space was not novel, nor was the astronomical information involved by any means abstruse, being furnished in fact by Herschel’s popular treatise, then first published in America; but Poe claimed that the design of making a fiction plausible by the use of scientific facts and [page 129:] principles was original, and he certainly worked it out with great patience and skill, and even a high degree of scientific consistency. It is not without obligation to an obscure deus ex machina, a providence unknown to physics, which overruled the balloonist’s fate; but, with all its whimsicalities, it exhibits for the first time the keenness and lucidity of Poe’s intelligence as distinguished from his imagination, and proves that he then possessed a considerable power of applied thought. It is noteworthy, too, as the earliest of those attempts to gull the public, for which he afterwards became notorious. At the time it was less successful in this respect than the celebrated “Moon- Hoax” of Mr. Locke, published a few weeks later in the “New York Sun,” which made fools of many highly intelligent citizens and caused Poe some chagrin, as he showed in his later comments upon it, because so many more people were taken in by it than by “Hans Pfaall,” while he had put himself to so much more pains than Mr. Locke to seem truthful; certainly if verisimilitude were the gauge of the crowd’s folly in credulity, he deserved better luck than his rival.

The remainder of the tales Poe would have [page 130:] called grotesque; but he was not so pleasingly gifted with humor as with either imagination or intelligence. Some of them are the merest extravaganzas, such as the “Due de L Omelette,” in which the devil poses as a gambler who can lose, or “Bon-Bon,” in which he plays his part as a cannibal of human souls. Some are satirical, and among them is to be reckoned one of his weakest productions, “Loss of Breath, A Tale à la Blackwood,” which in its first form, with its expanded narrative of the hanging and the burial alive, was more perceptibly aimed at the inane jargon (as it was then thought) of German metaphysics. In all of them, too, Poe is less original than in his other tales; he shows more plainly the traces of his reading. “King Pest” is very closely modeled on Vivian Grey’s adventure in the castle of the Grand Duke of Johannisberger (the cabinet of the Prince of Little Lilliput in the same novel contains the double of the Saracen’s horse in Metzengerstein’s tapestry) ; and “Lionizing,” a sketch which was repeatedly and elaborately corrected in later years, apart from its Shandean touch, copies in style and conception “Too Beautiful for Anything” in Bulwer’s “The Ambitious Student in Ill Health, and other Papers,” apparently a favorite book [page 131:] of Poe’s. “Epimanes” and “A Tale of Jerusalem/ the flattest of the series, need hardly be mentioned.

The “Tales of the Folio Club,” together with “Politian” and a scant half-dozen short poems, represent the results of Poe’s life in Baltimore, the first four years of his literary career. He owed the opportunity for this uninterrupted period of preparation and experiment to Mr. Allan, however unwilling he was to own the debt or unable to recognize it; what would have happened to him without this aid, which secured his leisure, is shown by what did happen to him the moment it was withdrawn by Mr. Allan’s death. He had justified his choice of a profession. He had succeeded by dint of genius, — intellectual curiosity, romantic imagination, satiric temper evolving themselves under a master talent for literary art. Culture, such as is bred in a university, had played but a small part. He had received a good education, but it had not proceeded far; he was a fair Latinist for his years, read French, and had the merest smattering of Greek, Spanish, and Italian, but he had read and loved books. Few books, however, could have come in his way; he was never near any considerable collection of them, in his army [page 132:] life he was especially debarred from them, and no libraries of importance existed where he had lived. He read books of contemporary fame, especially such English books as were reprinted in Philadelphia, and magazines and newspapers, for which he always showed avidity; he had little familiarity at any time with literature earlier than Byron, and never showed love or devotion to great masters of the past. He had, in the narrowest sense, a contemporaneous mind, the instincts of the journalist, the magazine writer; and these became dominant in his career. The conditions of his life and his own tastes were preparing him for an editorial position. He be longed to the pioneer stage of our literature, and the emergence of his genius is to be judged by its environment, by what it was open for him to know and to do.

It has been maintained that Poe was misplaced in America, that he was a German born out of due longitude, a Hoffmann come into the world in a land of alien ways and spirit; and the spring of his peculiar genius is traced, specifically, to Hoffmann, with some obligation also to other German sources. The discussion of this view belongs to a later period in his life; but the fragment of the rejected preface to the “Tales of the Folio Club” [page 133:] is thought to show that he had Hoffmann’s “Serapions-brüder” in mind as his model, and the single tale of “The Visionary” owes its stage-setting to the “Doge und Dogaressa” of the same author. The date of the preface to the tales is unknown; but “The Visionary” was written before October, 1833. It is essential, therefore, to show Poe’s contact with Hoffmann before that time. This contact could not have been direct, since Poe knew no German; it is as little likely to have been in French, the only translation at that time being of the date 1830, issued at Brussels,(1) and Poe’s chances of encountering it being remote indeed. What he knew of Hoffmann, therefore, may safely be referred to magazine notices of that writer and other German romancers, with specimens. It is only necessary, at this point, to note the fact. Hoffmann was at most only one of many contemporary influences playing upon Poe’s receptive and pliable genius, and the knowledge Poe had of him may have been of the slightest, as none was available except through Carlyle and Scott, who had brought him forward in 1827 in English reviews. It is, besides, an error to suppose that Poe’s romantic [page 134:] tales were new in kind;(1) they were only finer in quality, and by the presence of genius and art; such tales were common in the magazines of the day, a contemporary fashion. It was not from any special attention to Hoffmann, but from the magazine world and its tastes, both English and American, that Poe’s tales sprang, brooded over by a genius great in its own nativity, which from the beginning had more vitality of its own than it ever borrowed from others. It had run its first course in the young writer, and had exhausted him; and during the lull that follows such efforts he turned to new fields of the intellectual life. He was, too, for the first time, fortunate in his own right; he had earned his first appointment and held a place, however humble, in the world of men.


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 87:]

1  Matchett’s Baltimore Director, 1831.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 88:]

1  Poe to Gwynn, MS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 89, running to the bottom of page 90:]

1  Evidence that depends only on the memory of a long-past event is always open to question. This impression of the intermittent character of Foe’s residence is perhaps due to the [page 90:] length of time covered; after he first met his relatives in Baltimore in 1829, he is known to have been absent three times in Richmond, once at West Point, and once in Philadelphia.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 90:]

1  Miss A. F. Poe to the author, September 13, 1884, written immediately after an interview with the subject of the letter.

2  Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, lxxviii, 634 (March, 1889). The most satisfactory date, in view both of what is said and what is omitted, is 1832-33.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 93:]

1  “Recollections of Edgar A. Poe,” by L. A. Wilmer, Baltimore Daily Commercial, May 23, 1866.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 94:]

1  Wilmer, in the account of his own life, without dates (Our Press Gang; or, A Complete Exposition of the Corruptions and Crimes of the American Newspapers. By Lambert A. Wilmer (ex-editor). Philadelphia: J. T. Lloyd, 1859), says he went from Washington to Baltimore to edit the Visiter, and was its editor not much longer than six months, when he lost his place, and soon after left the city. From this and his mention of Poe’s tales as already written, as well as from the date of the Visiter, it is necessary to connect these recollections with the year 1833, and especially with its latter part, when Poe won the prize in the Visiter’s competition.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 95:]

1  The Virginia Poe, i, 112.

2  Ibid, i, 344. The memorandum was found among the Griswold papers.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 96:]

1  It will be observed that the family tradition here divides into the Allan tradition, proceeding from Mrs. Allan and set forth by Colonel Ellis and Miss Mayo, and the MacKenzie-Valentine tradition set forth by Mrs. Weiss. To the former be long the darker phases of the story of Poe’s relations with Mr. Allan; to the latter belong Poe’s versions and the kindlier narrative. Mrs. Weiss (The Home Life of Poe, New York, 1907, pp. 57-60) assigns the story given above to an earlier date, immediately after Poe’s leaving West Point; but it seems more likely that the two are companion tales of Poe’s first visit home, the only time when Mrs. Allan had any conversation with him.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 100:]

1  Griswold, The New York Tribune, October 9, 1849.

2  Mr. Latrobe (Poe Memorial, Baltimore, 1877) states that this visit, the only time he ever saw Poe, was made on the Monday following the award, but his memory shows some confusion, since he makes Poe mention the Southern Literary Messenger, which did not appear until nine months later, and Hans Pfaall, which by Poe’s own statement was suggested to him by reading a book published a year afterward.

3  Kennedy MSS., Kennedy’s note to Poe’s letter, November, 1834; but the language is somewhat blind, and it may be that more than two tales were sent.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 102:]

1  “Edgar Allan Poe.” Colonel Thomas H. Ellis to the Richmond Standard, April 22, 1881. Mr. Ellis, being the son of Mr. Allan’s partner, and not much younger than Poe, had excellent means of judging the truth in this matter; but his statement is discredited by Mrs. Weiss, p. 73.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 102, running to the bottom of page 103:]

2  The Virginia Poe, i, 112, 113. The story of Poe’s relations with the Allan family here ends. In my former biography of Poe I ignored the graver charges of misconduct, because of the lack of any documentary evidence, and in the belief that the evidence, such as it may be, might not be brought forth. The charges are now revived and continue current. They all proceed from the Allan family, as heretofore. Mrs. Allan was a lady of social distinction in Virginia, a grande dame; and the sons of the family were brave and honorable men. The story which was current in Richmond from this source was referred to, but suppressed, in the Southern Literary Messenger (by J. R. Thompson), March, 1850, in words which indicate blackness, but a rumor of forgery has long been orally known, and once came to the surface in a libel suit, Poe vs. English, in New York, which will be dealt with later. It is useless to speculate whether it was another version of Poe’s alleged conduct in appropriating the money meant to pay his substitute in the army or connected with that incident, or was a separate offense, or whether the offense was forgery at all. Such evidence as exists with regard to Poe’s relations with the Allan family is contained in his letters to them, principally covering his University career, originally given to the family of the first Mrs. Allan, [page 103:] and now deposited by them in the Valentine Museum at Richmond. I remember with great pleasure an evening spent with their custodian in 1884; but as he did not offer to show the letters, I did not ask for them, believing that he had good reason for declining to enter unnecessarily into so vexed a matter. He confined his information to saying that my knowledge of Poe’s military career was correct. I have no further knowledge of the contents of the letters, which I have never sought to see and which have been very carefully guarded, except of the slightest derived from a Richmond correspondent at my request in respect to a small detail. To this rupture and its cause may be referred, provisionally, the statement of Poe’s inamorata that “Mrs. Clemm also spoke vaguely of some family mystery, of some disgrace.”

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 105:]

1  Kennedy MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 106:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 107:]

1  Kennedy MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 108:]

1  Kennedy MSS. This letter has hitherto been mistakenly ascribed to 1833, but reference to the almanac easily corrects the error.

2  Ibid.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 109:]

1  Poe to Thomas, Stoddard, xcv.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 110:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 113:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 115:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 118:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 121:]

1  Griswold MSS.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 123, running to the bottom of page 124:]

1  Seven tales MS. Found in a Bottle, Berenice, Morella, Lionizing, Hans Pfaall, The Assignation (The Visionary) , and Bon-Bon had been published; three Shadow, Loss of Breath, King Pest were published in the first number of the Messenger after his arrival in Richmond; four — Metzengerstein. [page 124:] Duc de L’Omelette, Four Beasts in One (Epimanes), A Tale of Jerusalem — were published also in the Messenger early in 1836, of which one, Epimanes, was in the hands of Carey & Lea in 1835, as was also Silence (Siope), published later in an annual in the fall of 1838. It is stated in the magazine, August, 1835, that Poe expected to publish The Tales of the Folio Club in the fall of 1835, and the number of these is there said to be sixteen; he had contributed to the magazine all it would hold by September of that year; it is fairly to be inferred that the three, previously unknown, published in the magazine, 1836, were left over from the collection, and that it consisted entire of the above titles. The sixteenth tale is missing, and was missing in the MSS. returned to Poe by Carey & Lea; it has been identified as A Descent into the Maelström (The Virginia Poe, i, 105), but this is doubtful. Cf. note Appendix C. The tales were much revised in later issues.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 124, running to the bottom of page 125:]

1  The best illustration of this, though imaginary, is The [page 124:] Valley of Unrest, A Book Without a Woman, An Old Oddity Paper, edited by Douglass Sherley. John P. Morton & Co., Louisville, Ky., 1884. This is one of the most curious and interesting pieces of Poeana, youthfully written but well done, and reflecting especially the atmosphere of Southern youth at the University as it remains now in tradition.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 133:]

1  Contes Fantastiques de E. T. A. Hoffmann. Bruxelles: Louis Hauman et compagnie. 1830. 4 tomes.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 134:]

1  Cf. The Maniac’s Story (by Æ), The History of a Hat (by H), The Duel (Anon.), The Prima Donna (by Mare Smetori), respectively in Godey’s, September, 1833, August, October, December, 1834, all of which were thought to be Poe’s by the late W. M. Griswold, on internal evidence solely. Such tales, however, were numerous, and at that time Poe had every reason to sign his name. The liability to error in the attempt to identify early work is overwhelming, and has been amply illustrated in the case of Hawthorne at the same period.


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - LEAPPL, 1909] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Life of EAP (G. E. Woodberry) (Chapter 04)