Monday, June 23, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s association with magazines is legendary, no other major American literary figure had a more intimate one. The vast majority of his most important works appeared in magazines and he was, at one time, editor of Southern Literary Messenger, Broadway Journal, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine. He attempted on two occaisions to publish his own magazine but never succeeded. Over the years I have been fortunate to obtain most of the great Poe appearances and rarities.

Poe’s work first appeared in print in a favorable review of his work in this issue of John Neal’s Yankee in 1829. The December issue contains long excerpts and critique of "Al Aaraaf" and "Tamerlane".

The first horror story, "The Fall of the House of Usher"
appeared in this issue of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in 1838 while Poe was editor.

Poe’s editorship of the important Southern Literary Messenger began with this issue.

Poe edited and was often published in The Broadway Journal and frequently appeared in N.P. Willis’ Weekly Mirror.

Poe probably reviewed his own works in this issue of the rarely seen Aristidean, edited by Thomas Dunn English. This may have been Poe’s own copy! This copy, personally annotated by Poe and formerly owned by renowned Poe historian Thomas Mabbott has been authenticated by Jeffrey Savoye, director of the Poe Society. It was obtained at a paper show for eight dollars!

"Murders in the Rue Morgue", America’s first detective story, appeared in the newly formed Graham’s Magazine (the rare first volume of Graham's is volume 18, being a product of the combination of the seven volumes of Burton's and ten of The Casket). Under Poe’s editorship it rapidly grew in circulation. This scarce, early issue contains another Poe classic "The Descent into the Maelstrom".

"The Mystery of Marie Roget" was originally serialized in William Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion in three parts, beginning with this November 1842 issue. The basis for the story was taken from the highly sensationalized real life murder of Marie Rogers.

"The Tell Tale Heart" first appeared in the inaugural issue of James Russell Lowell’s rarely seen Pioneer after being rejected by Boston Miscellany due to its provocative content. This is the rare Philadelphia edition.

Poe’s best known poem, "The Raven", first appeared in the second issue of American Whig Review in 1845.

The final version of his last poem, "Annabel Lee" was first published
posthumously in this 1850 issue of Sartain’s Union Magazine.

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