Poe's Writings in The American Museum
Vol. I (September - December, 1838)
1838 - September (vol I, no. I)
"Ligeia" (tale) (text A), pp. 25-37.
1838 - November (vol. I, no. III)
"The Psyche Zenobia" (tale) (text A), pp. 301-317. (Includes "The Scythe
of Time.") (These items eventually became "How to Write a Blackwood Article"
and "A Predicament.")
Vol. II (January - June, 1839)
1839 - January (vol. II, no. I)
"Literary Small Talk" Part I (misc)
(text A), pp. 60-61.
1839 - February (vol. II, no. II)
"Literary Small Talk" Part II (misc)
(text A), pp. 133-134.
1839 - April (vol. II, no. IV)
"The Haunted Palace" (poem) (text
A), p. 320.
Two other items have been suggested as perhaps by Poe:
A review of The Phenix [[Phoenix]] (American Museum,
I. no. III, November 1838). The review is not signed and Poe's possible
authorship has generally been dismissed. W. D. Hull comments, "It has been
suggested that this long and rambling notice may be Poe's. That it is not
his a few sentences will make clear . . . [Hull quotes several sentences]
. . . Brooks I believe to be the author" (Hull, 1941, p. 695).
A tale, "The Atlantis, a Southern World" (American Museum, all issues,
September 1838 - June 1839). This amateurish satire is signed by Peter
Prospero (clearly a pseudonym). A. H. Quinn suggested that it may have
been by Poe, admitting, "The evidence for Poe's authorship is largely internal.
. . . Toward the end occur several passages which are distinctly in Poe's
manner" (Quinn, 1941, p. 757). H&C later quoted T. O. Mabbott as saying
"As I understand it, Professor Quinn only thinks Poe may have assisted
in the story, writing a few passages here and there" (H&C, p. 145).
~~~ End of Text ~~~
On September 4, 1838, Poe replied to N. C. Brooks' request for a review
of Washington Irving's works. Poe declined, claiming, "The truth is, I
can hardly say that I am conversant with Irving's writings, having read
nothing of his since I was a boy, save his 'Granada.' It would be necessary
to give his entire works a reperusal. You see, therefore, the difficulty
at once" (Poe to Brooks,
September 4, 1838). Whatever were Poe's reasons for not reviewing Irving,
it was certainly not a lack of familiarity with his works as Poe had already
reviewed The Crayon Miscellany (Southern Literary Messenger,
December 1835) and Astoria (Southern Literary Messenger, January
1837). Poe reveals a greater acquantaince than he is willing to admit by
continuing in the same letter, "It is a theme upon which I would like very
much to write, for there is a vast deal to be said upon it. Irving is much
overrated, and a nice distinction might be drawn between his just and his
surreptitious and adventitious reputation -- between what is due to the
pioneer solely, and what to the writer." It may be that Poe was already
contemplating the creation of his own magazine and was reluctant to "use
up" (as Poe might say) the prominent American author, whose services he
might need to call upon. Ultimately, N. C. Brooks wrote the review "American
Authors, No. 1 — Washington Irving" for the September 1838 issue of the
American Museum. (The review is credited to Brooks in the table
of contents for volume I.)