Edgar Allan Poe and Rufus Wilmot Griswold


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The relationship between Edgar Allan Poe and Rufus Wilmot Griswold (1815-1857) is complex and enigmatic, yet it is one of the essential keys to understanding Poe and his biographers. In one way or another, every biography of Poe written since 1849 has either relied on or been obliged to respond to Griswold’s depictions of Poe in his “Ludwig” article and his “Memoir of the Author.” Even Griswold’s edition of Poe’s writings (the first posthumous collection) remains at the heart of nearly every modern compilation of Poe’s works.

From their first meeting in 1841, the two men viewed each other with a certain amount of professional suspicion. Personally, they seem to have held a mutual dislike, but both were willing to wear the appearance of friendship as long as there was something to gain. By this time, Poe was already well known as a fearless and independent critic. Griswold, a failed Baptist minister turned editor, considered himself Poe’s social and moral superior. To him, Poe was nothing more than a poor Southerner with an unimpressive smattering of education and an acid pen. Who was Poe to appoint himself as the literary conscience of America? In Poe’s eyes, Griswold was a literary dilettante, a mediocre writer who was born into prosperity and succeeded more through social connections and exchanges of favors than talent. Allied with the Northern clique of the literati, Griswold embodied all that Poe detested.

Initially, Poe seems to have held a somewhat higher opinion of Griswold. In his “Autography” series of 1841, Poe describes Griswold as “...not only a polished prose-writer, but a poet of no ordinary powers” (Harrison, Complete Works, XV, p. 215). This view, if genuine, quickly diminished as Poe left the editorial chair at Graham’s Magazine in 1842 and Griswold assumed his duties there. In a letter to Daniel Bryan (July 6, 1842), Poe wrote, “I have no quarrel either with Mr. Graham or Mr. Griswold — although I hold neither in especial respect” (Ostrom, Letters, p. 205). In a letter to F. W. Thomas (September 12, 1842), Poe revealed his growing dislike of Griswold, “He [Graham] is not especially pleased with Griswold — nor is any one else, with the exception of the Rev. gentleman himself, who has gotten himself into quite a hornet’s nest, by his ‘Poets & Poetry.’ . . . He is a pretty fellow to set himself up as an honest judge, or even a capable one” (Ostrom, Letters, p. 211). To James Russell Lowell (October 19, 1843), Poe wrote “It is a pity that so many of these biographies [for Graham’s Magazine] were entrusted to Mr. Griswold. He certainly lacks independence, or judgment, or both” (Ostrom, Letters, p. 237). Poe’s negative view of Griswold was not entirely without merit. Griswold seemed almost proud of his own lack of editorial ethics when he wrote to Ticknor & Company on July 10, 1842, “I puff your books, you know, without any regard to their quality” (The Poe Log, p. 377). More significant may be a recollection by John Sartain in which he refers to Griswold as “. . . a notorious blackmailer . . . I myself had to pay him money to prevent abusive notices of Sartain’s Magazine“ (John Sartain, “Poe’s Last Days,” Boston Evening Transcript, February 25, 1893, reprinted by Richard Tuerk, “John Sartain and E. A. Poe,” Poe Studies, IV no, 2, December 1971, pp. 21-23).

Always at the center of their relationship was Griswold’s anthology, The Poets and Poetry of America. First published in 1842, it was an enormous commercial success, going through ten editions by 1850. It was the information that Griswold was beginning such a work in 1841 that initially prompted Poe to seek him out. By making a selection of American poetry, Griswold made himself a focus for Poe’s campaign to reform the American literary scene. Poe’s personal opinion of the final collection seems to have been harsh. In Poe’s mind, The Poets and Poetry of America gave pages to many he deemed unworthy of attention and ignored many he though deserved a place of recognition. “Have you seen Griswold’s Book of Poetry? It is a most outrageous humbug, and I sincerely wish you would ‘use it up‘” (Poe to J. E Snodgrass, June 4, 1842, Ostrom, Letters, p 202).

In a strange twist of fate, Griswold arranged for Poe to write a review of The Poets and Poetry of America, for which Griswold paid Poe’s “usual fee” in advance, probably no more than $10. For the review, Poe softened his opinions. The notice he produced was generally positive, but hardly as laudatory as Griswold undoubtedly expected. “We disagree then, with Mr. Griswold in many of his critical estimates; although in general, we are proud to find his decisions our own. He has omitted from the body of his book, some one or two whom we should have been tempted to introduce. On the other hand, he has scarcely made us amends by introducing some one or two dozen whom we should have treated with contempt. We might complain too of a prepossession, evidently unperceived by himself, for the writers of New England.” Poe concluded with more favorable comments, “The book should be regarded as the most important addition which our literature has for many years received. . . . It is written with judgment, with dignity and candor. . . . Mr. Griswold . . . has entitled himself to the thanks of his countrymen, while showing himself a man of taste, talent and tact” (Boston Miscellany, November 1842). Poe wrote to F. W. Thomas on September 12, 1842, “that review has not yet appeared, and I am doubtful if it ever will” (Ostrom, Letters, p. 212). Poe also suggested to Thomas that Griswold’s payment was essentially a bribe and he clearly took great delight in producing one that, while fair, was far from the puff Griswold likely thought he was buying. Why Griswold permitted the review to be printed, when he could easily have suppressed it, is explained by Griswold’s letter of September 7, 1842 to James T. Fields, “I am rather pleased that it [Poe’s review] is to appear, lest Poe should think I had prevented its publication” (The Poe Log, p. 378). A prior letter to Fields, August 12, 1842, shows that Griswold was unhappy but not especially angry with Poe, “. . . the author and myself . . . [are not] on the best of terms, it [the review] is not decidedly as favorable as it might have been” (The Poe Log, p. 377). Perhaps, however, Griswold was angrier than he was willing to admit. In 1895, Griswold’s son defended his father’s “Memoir” of Poe in part by repeating the story of this review as an example of Poe’s “utter lack of honor” (W. M. Griswold, “Poe’s Moral Nature,” The Nation, p. 381).

A few months later, their already tenuous relationship would deteriorate considerably. The January 28, 1843 issue of the Philadelphia Saturday Museum carried a truly negative, and extremely personal, review of The Poets and Poetry of America. “Did any one read such nonsense? We never did, and shall hereafter eschew everything that bears Rufus Wilmot Griswold’s name. . . Mr. G. belongs to the class called ‘toady’ . . . Where is Professor Walter, Morton McMichael, Robert Morris (another sweet poet), the Rev. T. H. Stockton, and Dr. English? . . . all these gentlemen should be gratified at their non-appearance in the volume before us, for if ever such a thing as literary ruin existed, or exists, nine-tenths of the Poets (!) of America are ruined forever by the praise of Mr. Griswold!” This review ends with a strangely prophetic accusation: “. . . what will be his [Mr. Griswold’s] fate? Forgotten, save only by those whom he has injured and insulted, he will sink into oblivion, without leaving a landmark to tell that he once existed; or if he is spoken of hereafter, he will be quoted as the unfaithful servant who abused his trust“ (Harrison, Complete Works, XI, pp. 220-243). Although the anonymous review is now know to have been written by Poe’s friend, Henry B. Hirst, Griswold apparently presumed that Poe was behind it. (To be fair, Hirst probably repeated much that Poe had said to him personally.) His suspicions were confirmed, in his mind, by Poe’s traveling lecture on American Poetry. In 1843, 1844 and again in 1845, Poe presented his lecture on a number of occasions, always with special criticism of Griswold and his anthology. Although a very brief comment near the end of a minor article, Griswold might well have taken offense also at Poe’s statements from The Columbia Spy: “It is preposterous, also, to hear anything like commendation of that last and greatest of all absurdities, Griswold’s Appendix to D‘Israeli’s ‘Curiosities of Literature.‘” (“Doings of Gotham - [Letter VII] June 25, 1844,” reprinted by Spannuth and Mabbott, eds, Doings of Gotham, 1929, p. 76).

In 1845, Griswold began a new anthology, The Prose Writers of America. Accepting that Poe could hardly be left out of such a work, Griswold asked him to submit a few tales and a sketch of himself: “Although I have some cause of personal quarrel with you, which you will easily enough remember, I do not under any circumstances permit, as you have repeatedly charged, my private griefs to influence my judgment as a critic, or its expressions. I retain, therefore, the early formed and well founded favorable opinions of your works” (Griswold to Poe, January 14, 1845, Harrison, Complete Works, XVII, p. 197). Poe responded a few days later with a brief apology to Griswold: “Your letter occasioned me first pain and then pleasure: — pain because it gave me to see that I had lost, through my own folly, an honorable friend: — pleasure, because I saw in it a hope of reconciliation” (Ostrom, Letters, p. 275). Continuing in this vein, Poe wrote Griswold again on April 19, 1845, “I presume you understand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets (in N. Y.) I left out all that was offensive to yourself?” (Ostrom, Letters, pp. 284-286). Poe seems to have thought the matter resolved, although published commentaries about his lecture show that he did not treat Griswold as kindly as this letter would suggest. On October 26, 1845, he felt free to ask Griswold for a loan of $50 to help sustain The Broadway Journal (Poe to Griswold, Ostrom, Letters, p. 298). Poe also borrowed Griswold’s copy of the Southern Literary Messenger, as a source for the text of excerpts from Poe’s play “Politian” for use in The Raven and Other Poems (Poe to Griswold, September 28, 1845, Ostrom, Letters, p. 298). For his part, Griswold too seems to have been willing to forgive past offenses. “Speaking of Poe reminds me of the brutal article [against Poe] in the Mirror [by Thomas Dunn English], which it is impossible on any grounds whatsoever to justify in the slightest degree” (Griswold to E. A. Duyckinck, July 24, 1846, The Poe Log, p. 658).

In his 1846 series for Godey’s Lady’s Book, “The Literati of New York City,” Poe was careful not to include Griswold, although he may have been among those Poe would have covered had he not so suddenly decided to end the sketches. Nonetheless, Poe was harsh on some of Griswold’s friends, saying of Charles F. Briggs that he, “. . . has never composed in his life three consecutive sentences of grammatical English.”

A true friendship between Poe and Griswold was probably an inherent impossibility. By 1847, they seem to have returned to their old attitudes. Griswold’s introduction to Poe in The Prose Writers of America, for example, essentially reprinted an earlier notice from 1845 and suggests some latent or renewed difficulties. After a brief and rather mixed commentary on Poe’s abilities as a writer of tales and as a poet, Griswold ends with, “In criticism . . . his chief skill lies in the dissection of sentences” (The Prose Writers of America, 1847, p. 524). Poe, always sensitive to criticism, would not have been happy with such a dismissal of his editorial abilities. Poe’s review (the Southern Literary Messenger, February 1848) of Griswold’s The Female Poets of America (1848) was decidedly more favorable. As Poe generally encouraged women writers, however, his criticism was probably softened for their sake rather than Griswold’s.

In 1847, a minor satire called, appropriately enough, The Poets and Poetry of America was published in Philadelphia over the pen-name Lavante. The obvious target of this satire is Griswold’s anthology of poetry:

. . . With you, ye minor bards, I hold not war;
much as yourselves would I that strife abhor,
Too dull your muse offense to give or take,
My hate to rouse, or at my thrust awake;
So cold your strain, so dead your accents fall,
Great thanks to Griswold that ye live at all! . . .

The pamphlet received little attention and Griswold may never have seen it at all. If he did at least hear of it, however, he would doubtless have assumed that Poe was behind it. (The pamphlet was reprinted in 1887 as The Poets and Poetry of America, [With an introductory argument and notes by “Geoffrey Quarles”], New York, Benjamin and Bell. That edition claims Poe as the author, although T. O. Mabbott dismissed the attribution in his collection of Poe’s Poems, 1969, p. 510, item 80.)

At least one scholar (John E. Walsh, Plumes in the Dust) has attributed much of the problem between Poe and Griswold to a mutual infatuation for the minor poetess and social butterfly Mrs. Frances Sargent Osgood. Although married, Mrs. Osgood and her husband were intermittently estranged. She and Poe carried on a public and probably platonic courtship through a number of poems. Poe broke off the friendship in 1846. Mrs. Osgood died in May of 1850. Griswold edited her collection of poetry. Her fondness for Poe never waned. About this same time, Griswold entered an unpleasant phase of his life, riddled with health, personal and legal problems, all of which may have colored his attitudes and opinions. At least one scholar has suggested that Griswold may have been mentally ill (Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe, p. 692).

Whatever the cause of Griswold’s animus, the long years of resentment finally revealed themselves in words of bitterness perhaps unique in the history of obituaries: “Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it“ (New York Tribune, October 9, 1849, p. 2). Afraid of retaliation, Griswold signed this article “Ludwig,” but his dislike of Poe was well known and he was quickly exposed. Griswold admitted to Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman, in a letter of December 17, 1849, “I wrote, as you suppose, the notice of Poe in The Tribune, but very hastily. I was not his friend, nor was he mine“ (Reprinted in Gill, The Life of Poe, 1877, pp. 228-229). The “Ludwig” obituary was widely reprinted.

Griswold, having now assumed the mantle of a true villain, then began his most ingenious plot. Through some less-than ethical arrangements with Maria Clemm, Poe’s mother-in-law, he secured the rights to publish a posthumous collection of Poe’s works. (Technically, the rights to Poe’s estate belonged to his sister Rosalie. Mrs. Clemm, unaware of his deep hostility towards Edgar, may have first approached Griswold.) The initial two volumes appeared towards the end of 1849, with a brief preface pronouncing the edition as a charitable act to benefit Mrs. Clemm. In actuality, instead of the promised money, Mrs. Clemm received six sets of the two volumes to sell at whatever she could get. Griswold even kept all of the manuscript material Mrs. Clemm had sent to him, all worth far more than one-hundred sets would have been. It was long claimed that Poe himself had appointed Griswold his literary executor, but no real evidence of this has ever been produced. Initially, the volumes contained only Poe’s writings, reprinting brief and somewhat modified notices by James Russell Lowell and N. P. Willis, but Griswold was not done yet.

In October of 1850, Griswold published an enlarged and even more vituperative account of Poe’s life in the International Monthly Magazine. Almost simultaneously, this article appeared as a “Memoir of the Author” in a third volume of Poe’s works. In this “Memoir” Griswold cleverly manipulated and invented details of Poe’s life for the least favorable account he could create. He even forged letters from Poe to exaggerate his own role as Poe’s benefactor and to alienate Poe’s friends. (A. H. Quinn provides an exacting account of these forgeries in his 1941 biography of Poe.) No lie was too great for Griswold, no slander too outrageous. Poe’s choice not to return to the University of Virginia became expulsion for wild and reckless behavior. Poe’s honorable discharge from the army became desertion. The 1827 publication of Tamerlane and Other Poems was dismissed as a lie. He even accused Poe of engaging in some dark secret with the second Mrs. Allan and invented a scheme by which Poe supposedly blackmailed an unidentified “literary woman of South Carolina” (presumably Mrs. Ellet). By praising Poe’s writings and attacking Poe’s character, Griswold managed to make himself appear to be a sincere admirer and to attain a false sense of fairness in his general approach to Poe. In short, it was a brilliant piece of character assassination. Poe’s literary executor had become his literary executioner. Once again, Poe’s friends came to his defense, but Griswold had done his work well. For every magazine that carried a condemnation of Griswold’s infamy, three repeated his titillating slanders as fact. In 1852, Griswold prepared yet another biographical article on Poe, which was again widely copied. (A fourth, and final, volume of Griswold’s collection was published in 1856. In subsequent editions, the preface to Maria Clemm was removed and his “Memoir” moved to the first volume.)

Although Griswold died in 1857, his remained the only readily available biography of Poe until 1875. After 25 years, his interpretation of Poe had worked itself deeply into the public consciousness. What strength his accusations lacked in truth they gained in repetition. Richard Henry Stoddard and others took up Griswold’s banner and continued his attacks on Poe. As has already been noted, however, Poe was not without his defenders. Among his friends, John Neal, George Rex Graham, George W. Peck, James Wood Davidson, Henry B. Hirst, Charles Chauncey Burr and especially Sarah Helen Whitman denounced Griswold and fought hard for a more balanced and sympathetic judgment of Poe faults and talents. Many others sensed the inherent unfairness in Griswold’s account, but it was not until 1875 that a new champion emerged, the industrious Englishman John Henry Ingram (1842-1916). Coincidentally timed with the much publicized unveiling of a monument to Poe in Baltimore, the new memoir received a great deal of attention and did much to unwind Griswold’s lie. With the help of Sarah Helen Whitman, William Hand Browne and many others, Ingram expanded his memoir in 1880 and produced a two-volume biography of Poe, carefully researched and documented. Together with briefer biographies by Eugene L. Didier (1877) and William Fearing Gill (1878) Poe’s reputation was brought back from the brink, although it sometimes suffered from intentional white-washing. Both sides renewed the fray and the battle still rages today.



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Bibliography (Griswold’s Writings on Poe):

  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “The Chief Tale Writers of America” Washington National Intelligencer, August, 30, 1845, p. 2. (Reprinted by Ian Walker, ed., Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, pp. 182-183.)
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot (as “Ludwig”), “Death of Edgar Allan Poe,” New York Tribune, October 9, 1849, p. 2. (Reprinted in Carlson, Eric W., ed., The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1966, pp. 28-35. Also reprinted by Ian Walker, ed., Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, pp. 294-302.)
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “The Late Edgar Allan Poe”, Literary American (New York), III, November 10, 1849, pp. 372-373.
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “Edgar Allan Poe”, International Monthly Magazine, Vol. I, October 1850, pp. 325-344. (This article was subsequently republished as the next item.)
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “Memoir of the Author,” The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe, 3 vols., New York: J. S. Redfield, 1850-1853, III, pp. vii-xxxix. (After the appearance of volume 4 in 1856, this Memoir was moved to volume I.) (Excerpts of the memoir are reprinted in Carlson, Eric W., ed., Critical Essays on Edgar Allan Poe, Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987, pp. 52-58.)
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “Edgar Allan Poe”, Tait’s Magazine, NS XXII, April 1852, pp. 231-234. (Reprinted in Littell’s Living Age, XXXIII, May 1852, pp. 422-424 and Eclectic Magazine, XXVI, May 1852, pp. 115-119.)
  • Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, “[Letter to E. A. Poe, Jan 11, 1845],” p 197; “[Letter to E. A. Poe, Jan 14, 1845],” pp. 197-198; “[Letter to W. J. Pabodie, June 8, 1852],” p. 411; “[Letter to Mrs. S. H. Whitman, December 17, 1849],” pp. 405-406. (Reprinted by James Harrison, ed., The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1902, vol XVII on pages noted. Harrison also reprints other letters which may be of interest.)
  • Griswold, W. M., ed Passages from the Correspondence and Other Papers of Rufus W. Griswold, Cambridge, Mass.: W. M. Griswold, 1898. (This writer was the son of Rufus W. Griswold.)
  • Griswold, W. M., “Poe’s Moral Nature,” Nation, LX, May 16, 1895, pp. 381-382.

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Bibliography (Other Items):

  • Bayless, Joy, Rufus Wilmot Griswold: Poe’s Literary Executor, Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 1943.
  • Burr, Charles Chauncey, “Character of Edgar A. Poe,” Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia), February, 1852, pp. 19-33.
  • Campbell, Killis, “The Poe-Griswold Controversy,” Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA), XXXIV, September 1919, pp. 436-464.
  • Cohen, B. Bernard and Lucien A., “Poe and Griswold Once More,” American Literature, XXXIV, March 1962, pp. 97-101.
  • Davidson, James Wood, “Edgar A. Poe,” Russell’s Magazine, II, November 1857, pp. 161-173.
  • Didier, Eugene, L., “Life of Poe,” The Life and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1877, pp. 19-129.
  • Didier, Eugene L., “Poe: Real and Reputed,” Godey’s Magazine, CXXVIII, April 1894, pp. 452-455.
  • Duyckinck, Evert A., “[Review of The Literati]”, Literary World, VII, September 26, 1850, pp. 228-229.
  • Eveleth, George Washington, “Poe and His Biographer, Griswold,” Old Guard (New York), IV, June 1866, pp. 353-358.
  • Gill, William Fearing, “Edgar A. Poe and His Biographer; A Vindication of Poe from the Aspersions of Rufus W. Griswold,” The Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1876, pp. 11-36.
  • Graham, George Rex, “Editor’s table, The Late Edgar Allan Poe,” Graham’s Magazine, XXXVI, March 1850, pp. 224-226. (Reprinted by Ian Walker, ed., Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, pp. 376-384.)
  • Graham, George Rex, “The Genius and Characteristics of the Edgar Allan Poe,” Graham’s Magazine, XLIV, February 1854, pp. 216-225.
  • Hirst, Henry Beck “[Review of The Poets and Poetry of America],” Philadelphia Saturday Museum, January 28, 1843. (Reprinted by James Harrison, ed., The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1902, vol XI, pp. 220-243.)
  • Hirst, Henry Beck, “Edgar A. Poe,” M‘Makin’s Model American Courier (Philadelphia), October 20, 1849, p. 2. (Reprinted by Ian Walker, ed., Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, pp. 313-317.)
  • Ingram, John H., “Memoir of Poe,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 4 vols, Edinburgh: Black, 1874-1875, vol. 1, pp. xvii-ci.
  • Ingram, John H., Edgar Allan Poe: His Life, Letters and Opinions, 2 vols, London: John Hogg, 1880. (Subsequent editions were condensed into a single volume.)
  • Ingram, John H., “Edgar Allan Poe,” The Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 4 vols, New York: Scribner and Welford, 1885, vol 1, pp. xi-xxxix.
  • Ingram, John H., “Memoir of Edgar Allan Poe,” The Complete Poetical Works and Essay on Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Together with His Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, London: Frederick Warne, 1888, pp. xi-xxxii.
  • Leigh, Oliver [“Geoffrey Quarels”], “Introductory Argument,” The Poets and Poetry of America: A Satire, New York: Benjamin Bell, 1887, pp. 5-36.
  • Ljungquist, Kent P. and Buford Jones, “William S. Robinson on Griswold, Poe’s ‘Literary Executioner’,” Poe Studies: Dark Romanticism, Vol. 28, Nos. 1 and 2, June/December 1995, pp. 7-8.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “Afterword,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume I - Poems, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969, pp. 571-572.
  • Miller, John Carl, Building Poe Biography, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977. (Discusses J. H. Ingram and his efforts to research his Life of Poe.)
  • Miller, John Carl, Poe’s Helen Remembers, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1979. (Reprints numerous letters between J. H. Ingram and Mrs. S. H. Whitman concerning Poe.)
  • Neal, John, “Edgar A. Poe,” Daily Advertiser (Portland, Maine), April 26, 1850, p. 2. (Excerpts are reprinted by G. E. Woodberry, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, 2 vols, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909, vol I, pp. 451-452.)
  • Neu, Jacob L., “Rufus Wilmot Griswold,” University of Texas Studies in English, No., 5, 1925, pp. 101-165.
  • Peck, George W., “[Review of] The Works of Edgar Allan Poe,” American Whig Review, XI, March 1850, pp. 301-315.
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, “[Review of The Poets and Poetry of America],” Boston Miscellany, November 1842. (Reprinted by James Harrison, ed., The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe New York: T. Crowell, 1902, XI, pp. 147-160. Also reprinted by Thompson, G. R., ed., Edgar Allan Poe: Essays and Reviews, New York: Library of America, 1984, pp. 549-556.)
  • Poe, Edgar Allan, “[Letters to R. W. Griswold],” (After May 8, Spring, 1841; May 29, 1841; January 16, 1845; February 24, 1845; April 19, 1845; October 26, 1845; May 1849; June 28, 1849). (Reprinted in Ostrom, John Ward, ed., The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Gordian Press, Inc, 1966. See also Ostrom’s note on pp. 490-491.)
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Frances Sargent Osgood and Saroni’s Musical Times: Documents Linking Poe, Osgood and Griswold,” Poe Studies: Dark Romanticism, Vol. 23, No. 2, December 1990, pp. 27-36.
  • Quinn, Arthur Hobson, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1941. (Includes numerous references to the relationship between Poe and Griswold. Also details a number of Griswold’s lies and forgeries of Poe’s letters.)
  • Robbins, Peggy, “Poe’s Defamation,” American History Illustrated, X, p. 6. (Reprinted in Edgar Allan Poe: The Creation of a Reputation, Eastern Acorn Press, 1983.)
  • Reid, Thomas Mayne, “A Dead Man Defended,” Onward, I, April 1869, pp. 305-308.
  • Stoddard, Richard Henry, “Edgar Allan Poe,” National Magazine, II, March 1853, p. 193-200.
  • Stoddard, Richard Henry, “Memoir of Edgar Allan Poe,” Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1875, pp. 15-99.
  • Thomas, W. Moy, “Edgar Allan Poe,” The Train: A First-Class Magazine, III, April 1857, pp. 193-198.
  • Walsh, John E., Plumes in the dust: The Love Affair of Edgar Allan Poe and Frances Sargent Osgood, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1980. (This book contains much interesting information, although Walsh’s central notion that Poe fathered an illegitimate child with Mrs. Osgood seems absurd. See Sidney Moss’s review “Did Poe Father Fanny Fay?” in Poe Studies, XIII, No. 2, pp. 40-41.)
  • Whitman, Sarah H., Edgar Poe and His Critics, New York: Rudd and Carlton, 1860. (Reprinted by Rutgers University Press in 1949, with an introduction by Oral S. Coad.)
  • Wilmer, Lambert A., Our Press Gang; or, A Complete Exposition of the Corruptions and the Crimes of the American Newspapers, Philadelphia: J. T. Lloyd, 1860, p. 385. (The selections relevant to Poe are reprinted by T. O. Mabbott, ed. Merlin, Together with Recollections of Edgar A. Poe, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1941.)

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[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - General Topics - Edgar Allan Poe and Rufus Wilmot Griswold