Edgar Allan Poe — “Spirits of the Dead”


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Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Spirits of the Dead” — reading copy

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Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Visit of the Dead” — 1827, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02)
  • Text-02 — “Visit of the Dead” — 1827 — TAOP — (Mabbott text A)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text for this version)
  • Text-03 — “The Spirits of the Dead” — about 1828  — “Wilmer” manuscript — (Mabbott text B) (Poe to L. A. Wilmer; Bishop John Fletcher Hurst (1834-1903) (library sold at auction in 1904); Frank Maier (sold on Novemnber 22, 1909); Gabriel Wells (before 1933); H. Bradley Martin (library sold in 1990); Stephan Lowentheill (19th Century Bookshop); Susan Jaffe Tane) (This manuscript may have been among the autographs sold at the Washington Sanitary Fair of 1864, an effort to raise funds for Civil War veterans.)
  • Text-04 — “Spirits of the Dead”— 1829 — ATMP — (Mabbott text C)
  • Text-05 — “Spirits of the Dead” — July 1839 — Burton’s — (unsigned)  (Mabbott text D)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text for this version) (In a letter to P. P. Cooke, Poe mentions that he is sending copies of the July, August, and September 1839 issues of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, but in Cooke’s reply it is clear that he is responding only to a number of the stories as printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, of which Poe had sent Cooke an inscribed copy. He does not mention either of the poems by Poe that appeared in this issue. There is no reason to suspect that any of these magazine copies contained manuscript revisions by Poe.)

 

Reprints:

  • “Spirits of the Dead” — March 12, 1864 — Roll Call (a publication of the Washington Sanitary Fair) (This item is cited by T. O. Mabbott in the introduction to his facsimile of Tamerlane and Other Poems, p. lx, and in his 1969 edition of Poe’s Poems, p. 71.)
  • “Visit of the Dead” — June 1876 — John H. Ingram, “The Unknown Poetry of Edgar Poe,” Belgravia: A London Illustrated Magazine (London, UK) (29:510) (reprinted from the recently discovered copy of TAOP from the British Museum, and thus the first reprint of this early version of the poem since 1827) (Ingram’s text makes what appear to be editorial adjustments, such as rendering Poe’s somewhat affected “tho’d” as “though” and modifies Poe’s spelling of “secrecy” to “secresy,” but does not sustain R. H. Shepherd’s charge that Ingram’s printed text is “shown to be valueless on account of its inaccuracies.”)
  • “Visit of the Dead” — June 8, 1876 — John H. Ingram, “Poe’s Suppressed Poetry,” New York Graphic, p. 805 (reprinted from Belgravia for June 1876)
  • “Visit of the Dead” — June 21, 1876 — John H. Ingram, “Unknown Poetry of Poe,” Home Journal (New York, NY) (reprinted from Belgravia for June 1876)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1877 — The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. E. L. Didier, New York: W. J. Widdleton (pp. 246-247) (This poem had not been collected by Griswold, Ingram or Stoddard in their editions up to this point)
  • “Spirit of the Dead” — 1884 — Poems and Essays of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. John H. Ingram, Leipzig: Bernard Tauchnitz (pp. 157-158) (according to BAL, 7:136, issued as early as January 1884) (Somewhat confusingly, Ingram gives the later version of the text and title, but the 1827 date.)
  • “Visit of the Dead” — 1884 — Tamerlane and Other Poems, ed. Richard Herne Shepherd, London: George Redway (pp. 45-46)  (Having long been thought lost, a copy of the original Tamerlane and Other Poems of 1827 was discovered in the British Museum and printed in this “second edition.” The new edition was apparently available prior to May 10, 1884, by which time it was apparently “already sold out in England,” according to Critic and Good Literature, 4:222.)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1884 — The Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. John H. Ingram, London: John C. Nimmo (4:319)(Somewhat confusingly, Ingram gives the later version of the text and title, but the 1827 date.)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1888 — The Complete Poetical Works and Essays on Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. John H. Ingram, London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co. (p. 100)(Somewhat confusingly, Ingram gives the later version of the text and title, but the 1827 date.)

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Spirits of the Dead” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:128-129, and 10:226-227)
  • Spirits of the Dead” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (7:13-14, and 7:148-149)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 120-121, and pp. 272-273)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 23-25, and pp. 158-160)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (pp. 15-16, and pp. 179-180)
  • Visit of the Dead” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:70-72) (Mabbott gives the early version of the poem along with “Spirits of the Dead.”)
  • Spirits of the Dead” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:72-73)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 32-33) (reprints Text-05)

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Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None

 

Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None

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Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Les esprits des morts” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)
  • “Spirits of the Dead” — 1999 - atmospheric audio recoding, read by Larry Moss and with organ accompaniment (CD titled “Tales from the Tomb: Frigtening Fables from the Darkside,” Laserlight Digital) (included on the same recording is “The Raven” and 8 selections of works that are not by Poe)

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Bibliography:

  • Heartman, Charles F., “A Remarkable Addition to the Poe Census,” American Book Collector (Metuchen, NJ), vol. III, no. 4, April 1933, p. 246
  • 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 (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Spirits of the Dead