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Evert Augustus Duyckinck

(Born: November 23, 1816 - Died: August 13, 1878)

Duyckinck was an editor of Wiley and Putnam's "Library of American Books," which included Poe's Tales (1845). He had been an editor of the Arcturus, along with Cornelius Mathews, from December 1840 until June 1842, when it merged with the Boston Miscellany. In 1847,  he and his younger brother, George Long Duyckinck, founded the magazine Literary World, which continued until 1853. In 1855, the brothers compiled and published the 2-volume Cyclopedia of American Literature.

In reviewing the frist two volumes of Griswold's posthumous edition of Poe's works (Literary World, January 26, 1850), Duyckinck commented, "The method and management of many of Mr. Poe's tales and poems are admirable, exhibiting a wonderful ingenuity, and completely proving him master of the weapon he had chosen for his use." On the other hand, he also seems somewhat dismissive of  Poe as "a Campanologian, a Swiss bell-ringer, who from little contrivances of his own, with an ingeniously devised hammer, strikes a sharp melody, which has all that is delightul and affecting, that is attainable without a soul."

Duyckinck reviewed with much harsher words the third volume of Griswold's edition of Poe's works, which included Poe's "Literati" and much of his literary criticisms (Literary World, September 21, 1850). As part of this review, Duyckick dismises the book as having "not the slightest earthly value." He also notes his own opinion that "Poe was, in the very centre of his soul, a literary attorney, and pleaded according to his fee." In the end, his complaints seem aimed primarily at Griswold: "Was this book left by its author, Poe, to be published in its present form? or is it a compilation made by Griswold, from uneditied material left by Poe? If made by Griswold, on what principle has he selected hostile criticisms, where there were later favorable criticisms written by Poe on the same parties?"

Evert Augustus Duyckinck

Criticism (Texts and Variant Texts)
  • Notice from "The Literati"

  • E. A. Poe to E. A. Duyckinck - September 11, 1845 (Thursday Afternoon) (?)   (Not in OL)  (RCL#567a) (Ostrom notes this as "Thursday Afternoon" and gives as the location of the manuscript the Henry E. Huntington Library. After a thorough search of their files, the Huntington Library states flatly that they have no letters from Poe to Duyckinck. This entry, therefore, is probably an error, repeating the prior letter to Duyckinck.)

  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849, Boston: G. K. Hall & Sons, 1987.

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