Text: Edgar Allan Poe to James Russell Lowell — May 28, 1844 (LTR-175)


New-York, May 28, 44.

My Dear Friend,

I received yours last night — forwarded from Philadelphia to this city, where I intend living for the future: Touching the Biography — I would be very proud, indeed, if you would write it — and did, certainly, say to myself, and I believe to Graham — that such was my wish; but as I fancied the job might be disagreeable, I did not venture to suggest it to yourself. Your offer relieves me from great embarrasment, and I thank you sincerely. You will do me justice; and that I could not expect at all hands.

Herewith, I mail you a Life written some time since by Hirst, from materials furnished principally by Thomas and Mr T. W. White. It is correct, I think, in the main, (barring extravagant eulogy,) and you can select from it whatever you deem right. The limit is 6 pp of Graham — as much less as you please. Besides the Tales enumerated in the foot-note, I have written “The Spectacles”; “The Oblong Box”; “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains”; “The Premature Burial”; “The Purloined Letter”; “The System of Doctors Tar [[Tarr]] and Fether”; “The Black Cat”; “The Elk”; “Diddling Considered as one of the Exact Sciences”; “Mesmeric Revelation [[”]] ; “The Gold-Bug”; “Thou art the Man [[”]] ; — about 60 altogether, including the “Grotesque & Arabesque. [[”]] Those Italicized are as yet unpublished — in the hands of different editors. Of the “Gold-Bug” (my most successful tale) more than 300,000 copies have been circulated.

There is an article on “American Poetry” in a late number of the London Foreign Quarterly, in [page 2:] which some allusion is made to me as a poet, and as an imitator of Tennyson. I would like you to say (in my defence) what is the fact; that the passages quoted as imitations were written & published, in Boston, before the issue of even Tennyson’s first volume. Dickens (I know) wrote the article — I have private personal reasons for knowing this. The portrait prepared, does not in the least resemble me.

I wrote you a long letter from Phil: about 7 weeks since — did you get it? — you make no allusion to it.

In great haste.

Your most sincere friend.
Edgar A Poe





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. R. Lowell (LTR175/RCL481)