Text: Burton R. Pollin, “April 1835 (Notes),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. V: SLM (1997), pp. 9-11 (This material is protected by copyright)


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[page 9:]

Notes [[for April 1835]]

[column 1:]

April 1835 - 1  Title: The North American Review (April 1835). Boston, 1835. SLM text: pp. 457-58. The evidence for attribution of this item is ambiguous, split between Poe and Sparhawk.

a Burkhardt]  At the times indicated, Sparhawk would have been in his mid-twenties, Poe only in his mid-teens. Though Poe would later refer to John L. Burckhardt (correct spelling), there is no indication he knew the work of the Swiss explorer at this date. (For later citations, see Pollin, Dictionary, p. 15.) The phrase, of course, may be a mere rhetorical flourish.

b Nassau]  When Poe reviewed Bubbles from the Brunnen of Nassau in the April 1836 SLM, he commented that “a notice of this work, which appeared a year ago in the North American, first incited us to read it” (see entry under April 1836 below). In later years, Poe generally expressed his strong dislike for the North American.

c juste milieu]  Though Poe characteristically employed French phrases and quotations in his reviews this one derives from the text and is not necessarily an indication of his authorship.

d allusion]  The most direct evidence for Poe’s authorship is this quotation from an unspecified Baltimore newspaper’s critique of the article on Coleridge (deceased 1834). Poe was living in Baltimore at this time and closely followed the local press. It is unlikely that any other reviewer for the SLM would have devoted some thirty of this item’s eighty lines to refuting a Baltimore journalist’s strictures on Coleridge’s “mysticism.” The latter word links this item with the last paragraph of the review of Coleridge’s Letters in the June 1836 SLM (see note under that date), in which it is argued that the publication in America of the Biographia Literaria would do away “with the generally received impression here entertained of the mysticism of the writer.” Poe had already referred to this work in the “Letter to Mr. ——— refacing his 1831 Poems and spoken of “his towering intellect! his gigantic power!” This passage was reprinted [column 2:] in part in the July 1836 SLM as “Letter to B——.*” (2: 501-03). For Poe’s many later comments about Coleridge, see Pollin, Dictionary, p. 22.

e Pompeii]  The praise of Bulwer’s novel is at odds with the more than nine and a half pages devoted to a review (by Beverley Tucker) and an accusation of plagiarism on Bulwer’s part reprinted from the North American Magazine in the January 1835 SLM (1: 241-50). Poe referred to Bulwer, often unfavorably, in his later writings; see Pollin, Dictionary, p. 15.

April 1835 - 2  Title: The London Quarterly Review (February 1835). American Edition 1, ii. New York: Foster, 1835. SLM text: p. 458. Of the ten items listed in this notice, only one — that dealing with Coleridge’s Table Talk — is chosen for comment. The continuation of the Coleridge discussion links this with the preceding item. For Poe’s later critical remarks on this work, see, for example, Pollin 2: 21114. The comment at the end of this notice may reflect Poe’s continuing professional concern with the physical appearance of publications here and abroad. It is of interest that Coleridge’s nephew and literary executor was even then richly endowing Poe’s writings, in fifteen passages, published between April 1835 and August 1836, with erudite facts, offhandedly acknowledged only once (see Palmer C. Holt, “Poe and H. N. Coleridge’s Greek Classic Poets,” American Literature 34 (1962): 830; and Pollin 2: Index under H. N. C.).

April 1835 - 3  Title: [Jacob H. Drew]. The Life, Character, and Literary Labours of Samuel Drew, A.M. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835. SLM text: p. 458. There is nothing in this brief factual notice to allow definite assignment to Poe, save for the capricious emphasis given to a small section (180-184) which explains the confusion over materials left for safe-keeping by Dr. Thomas Coke (1747-1814) with Samuel Drew, his friend and adjutant. Coke was very prominent in Methodist affairs, tried to establish Methodist bishops, made nine purposeful visits to [page 10:] America, and died en route to India. His works included sermons and biographies.

April 1835 - 4  Title: Henry Lee. The Life of the Emperor Napoleon. Vol. 1. New York: Charles De Behr, 1835. SLM text: p. 458. Lee, a native Virginian, died in Paris before completing his study. The “postponed” review never appeared, so there is no further evidence for assigning authorship. The final sentence of this notice, however, suggests that the reviewer was in closer touch with the editorial plans for the SLM than Poe was at this period. Since Sparhawk was in Richmond and is known to have composed the first review (see headnote above), it is perfectly possible that he also wrote the entries here numbered as 2, 3, and 4.

April 1835 - 5  Title: [George H. Borrow]. Celebrated Trials of all Countries, and remarkable cases of Criminal Jurisprudence, selected by a Member of the Philadelphia Bar. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey and A. Hart, 1835. SLM text: p. 458. Though there is nothing in this notice that makes it impossibly Poe’s, Sparhawk is a more likely candidate. He had been a reporter for the New York American and had published accounts of two trials which he had covered.

April 1835 - 6  Title: Andrew Reed. No Fiction: A Narrative Founded on Recent and Interesting Facts. New ed. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835. SLM text: p. 458. This work, written by a London clergyman, was first published in that city in 1818; Martha appeared in 1821. Dr. Reed was a co-author of Visit to the American Churches, which Poe reviewed in the August 1835 SLM (see below). This review ends: “Our readers will remember Doctor Reed as the author of No Fiction and Martha, both of which publications were favorably noticed in a former number of the Messenger.” It is highly unlikely that anyone but the author of this brief notice would have remembered it well enough to cite it.

April 1835 - 7  Title: [Laure Saint-Martin Junot]. Memoirs of Celebrated Women of All Countries. SLM text: p. 458. Philadelphia: [column 2:] Carey, Lea and Blanchard, 1835. The author was the duchesse d‘Abrantes and wife of one of Napoleon’s generals. This and the following two items are probably Poe’s because they fall between two notices that can definitely be assigned to him. Poe was paid by White by space rate at so much a column and it is probable that the SLM text was set from a continuous manuscript. Further, the word “inauthenticity” looks like a typical Poe coinage; the OED cites no example before 1860. In “The Journal of Julius Rodman,” at the start of Chapter 2, Pierre Junot is a passing character, whose surname may have been adapted from that of the author of these Memoirs.

April 1835 - 8  Title: [Charlotte Anley]. Influence, a Moral Tale, by the author of Miriam. Philadelphia: Key and Biddle, 1835. SLM text: pp. 458-59. See note to item 7.

* developes / develops

April 1835 - 9  Title: Charles Whitehead. Lives and Exploits of English Highwaymen, Pirates and Robbers. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey and A. Hart, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. See note to item 7.

* these lines / these lives

April 1835 -10  Title: [Laughton Osborn]. The Confessions of a Poet, by Himself. [Anon.]. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. (For attribution see the headnote to this section.) This is Poe’s first known review in what came to be referred to as his “slashing” style. Though nothing in this notice suggests the fact, this is a work of fiction, by a New York litterateur. It received a number of bad reviews, to which Osborn responded in a poetical satire, The Vision of Rubeta (1838); the work-perhaps predictably-also had a bad press. Poe later ate his words. In his sketch of Osborn in “The Literati of New York” series (Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1846), he commented: “[The Confessions] made much noise in the literary world, and no little curiosity was excited in regard to its author, who was generally supposed to be John Neal.. . .‘The Confessions’ are quite remarkable for their artistic unity and perfection. . . . I do not [page 11:] think, indeed, that a better book of its kind has been written in America.” Perhaps a key to Poe’s attack in the SLM is this comment in the “Literati” notice: “Partly on account of what most persons would term their licentiousness, partly, also, on account of the prevalent idea that Mr. Neal (who was never very popular with the press) had written them, ‘The Confessions,’ by the newspapers, were most unscrupulously misrepresented and abused.” See also Letters 1: 293-95.

a  The image, from Odyssey 11.426, is echoed in Poe’s favorite Shakespeare play, Hamlet 5.1.176, 306. It is also used in “Loss of Breath” (Mabbott 2: 71 + n. 29).

b vulgaire]  Both Osborn and Poe mangle the French language here, as the text of Osborn’s book shows (I: 83): Osborn’s subjunctive form, “j‘aie,” transcribed by Poe, is unwarranted, but at least the author did write the following (all in his highlighted italics) “français, détourner” and the more common “connaissance” (the last used again on p. 86, in Poe’s reprehended “footnote a” to a footnote to the text). This is the only instance of such piling up of note upon note, throughout the two volumes, despite Poe’s implication above.

c in the load]  The “charge” of a weapon, in the customary parlance of the military or of sportsmen. Osborn’s passage is on p. 19.

April 1835 - 11  Title: [Anon.]. The Language of Flowers. Philadelphia: Carey, Hart and Co., 1835. SLM text: p. 459. There is no internal evidence for Poe’s authorship in this or the next four items.

April 1835 - 12  Title: Maria Edgeworth and Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Practical Education. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. Edgeworth is now best known for her novel Castle Rackrent (1801). She and her father wrote this work, which reflects the views on education of Rousseau, in 1798.

April 1835 - 13  Title: James B. Fraser. The Highland Smugglers. Philadelphia: Carey, Hart and Co., 1835. SLM text: p. 459. Fraser, a Scot, was a well known writer of travel books. [column 2:]

April 1835 - 14  Title: John G. Lockhart. Valerius. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. Lockhart was one of the regular contributors to Blackwood’s Magazine and editor of the Quarterly Review, British publications with which Poe was well acquainted. The Latin quotation, cited from Virgil, Aeneid 6.258, is properly “Procul, o procul este, profani”: “Far off, Oh keep far off, you uninitiated ones.”

April 1835 - 15  Title: An Account of Col. Crockett’s Tour to the North and Down East . . . Written by himself. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey and A. Hart, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. David (“Davy”) Crockett, was the famous frontiersman and hero of the Alamo; he was credited with several volumes full of backwoods brag, shrewd wit, and tall tales; see December 1835 - 9, note d. The Western narratives printed in the SLM (see, for example, “A Tale of the West” in this issue) were decidedly more genteel.

April 1835 - 16  The correct title of the work reviewed is: [Susanna Warfield]. Illorar de Courcy: An Auto-biographical Novel. By Josiah Templeton, Esq. [pseud.] Baltimore: William and Joseph Neal,1835. SLM text: p. 459. This is the title as given by Wright, p. 347. The SLM had trouble with the name; it is spelled “Illoraz” in the notice and “Illoray” in the index. Wright notes: “Sabin 101419 states that ‘it was suppressed‘.” The tone of the notice is characteristically Poe’s.

April 1835 - 17  Title: [Charles Fenno Hoffman], A Winter in the West. By a New-Yorker. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835. SLM text: p. 459. Hoffman was editor of the American Monthly Magazine. In 1840 he published Greyslaer; A Romance of the Mohawk, which was basedlike Poe’s own Politian-on the “Kentucky tragedy” (the Beauchamp-Sharp case). In his critical sketch of Hoffman in “The Literati of New York” series (Godey’s, October, 1846), Poe again praises this work. For the many links between Poe and Hoffman, see Pollin, Dictionary, p. 45.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - BRP5S, 1997] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (April 1835 (Notes))