Richmond Examiner Proofsheets Collection (1849)


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About September 1849, Poe prepared a number of his poems to be printed in a series of issues of the Richmond Weekly Examiner . Of the fourteen texts apparently intended, only two were actually printed, but the remaining texts were transcribed by Poe’s friend F. W. Thomas, who planned to issue a new edition of Poe’s Poems . The manuscript notes left unpublished after Thomas ’ death in 1866 have also been lost, but were fortuitously recorded by J. H. Whitty and subsequently printed in his collection of The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (1911). Mabbott (Poems , 1:583-584) discusses the complicated issues surrounding questions of accuracy and authenticity of these texts, but generally accepts them for several poems as the only source for versions which were presumably approved by Poe during his last visit to Richmond. (Without the originals, it is impossible to determine whether or not errors have been created in the double process of transcription and later of typesetting, or if Whitty has made any editorial changes. Also unknown are typographical matters concerning the use of small caps and similar issues of formatting.) For those poems where the Examiner text essentially agrees with the changes Poe made in the J. Lorimer Graham copy of RAOP , Mabbott does not generally list the Examiner as one of the variants, although he includes all of the titles below in his discussion of the Examiner proof sheets (1:583). Thus, he gives the Examiner as a variant for “The Raven” and “A Dream within a Dream,” but not for “The Sleeper” or “Israfel.” For these texts, what Whitty gives usually differs only in minor matters of punctuation, and Mabbott reasonably asserts that Whitty’s transcriptions (second hand from those of F. W. Thomas) are not to be considered reliable for such details. Mabbott is not entirely consistent in this matter, however, for in his variants for “The Haunted Palace,” he does list the Examiner even though it disagrees with the J. Lorimer Graham text of RAOP only in one example of hyphenation and one contraction. Poe is known to have had his copy of RAOP with him in his trunk (see Savoye, “Two Biographical Digressions”). It seems likely, then, that for these poems, the Examiner text was set from the changes Poe had already made rather than a new manuscript.

The poems include:

  • The Raven”  (printed in the Examiner , September 25, 1849)
  • Dream-Land”  (printed in the Examiner , October 29, 1849)
  • To My Mother”  (Heartman &Canny give a publication date as October 29, 1849 [H&C, 1943, p. 183], but Stovall notes that “a careful check of that paper fails to turn up the poem” [Poems , 1965, p. 286]. Whitty says that the text is the same as that printed by the Southern Literary Messenger in December 1849)
  • Bridal Ballad”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, p. 15-16)
  • The Sleeper”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 17-18)
  • Lenore”  (Whitty states that the text followed that of the Richmond Whig , but “with slight punctuation changes” which he does not record [Poems , 1911, p. 213])
  • Israfel”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 24-25)
  • The Conqueror Worm”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 36-37)
  • The Haunted Palace”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 37-38)
  • The Bells”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 63-66)
  • For Annie”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 74-77)
  • To — [A Dream within a Dream]”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, p. 123)
  • Ulalume”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 82-85)
  • Annabel Lee”  (Whitty, Poems , 1911, pp. 80-81)

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Bibliographic Data:

Not applicable.


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Census of Copies:

Not applicable.


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Bibliography:

  • Heartman, Charles F and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe , Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 1943, pp. 182-183
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, volume I: Poems , Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Two Biographical Digressions: Poe’s Wandering Trunk and Dr. Carter’s Mysterious Sword Cane,” Edgar Allan Poe Review , Fall 2004, 5:15-42
  • Whitty, James Howard, ed., The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe , Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1911  (reprinted in 1917 and 1918).

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Editions - Richmond Examiner Proofsheets (1849)