The Essays, Sketches and Lectures of Edgar Allan Poe


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Editions Authorized by Poe:

Poe published only one of his lectures during his life. This was “The Universe,” published as Eureka, the “Prose Poem” by which he hoped most ernestly to be remembered. Other items were first collected in the posthumous collection edited by Rufus Wilmot Griswold, incorporating some additional manuscript changes and other material. These collections are listed chronologically.

Later Collected Editions:

After Griswold’s death in 1857, there were several alternate attempts to collect Poe’s works, including a number of the essays and Eureka. The most important of these were collections edited by John H. Ingram, also in four volumes (initially published in 1874-1875), the ten-volume set edited by Edmund C. Stedman and George E. Woodberry (initially published in 1894-1895), and the seventeen-volume set edited by James A. Harrison (published in 1902). (Although at least one of these editions bears the title of The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, none of them are, in fact, actually complete. In some instances, they also contain works that have since been identified as not being by Poe.)

Modern Scholarly Editions:

The most widely recognized scholarly edition of Poe’s tales and sketches, also including some of the essays, are the volumes edited by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, (published in 1978, nearly a decade after Mabbott’s death), completed by his widow, Maureen Cobb Mabbott (and several assistants), with a few additional essays appearing in the volumes in the edition as continued by Burton R. Pollin. All of these volumes are thoroughly annotated, with introductory material, notes and variants. Two volumes originally prepared for this series, edited by Stuart and Susan Levine, were published separately by the University of Illinois Press.

 


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Within these selections, all original punctuation, abbreviations and spellings have been retained. Where these spellings differ greatly from modern spellings, the most current form is noted in brackets immediately following the word. A number of obvious variants, such as “colour” for “color,” reflect conventions to which we no longer adhere, but which were considered acceptable during Poe’s lifetime and are left to stand without additional commentary. For manuscript material, including Poe’s own corrections to printed sources, text contained within angle brackets “<...>” shows annotations made by Poe himself for the main text given. Reversed double-angle brackets “>>...<<” show text that Poe has canceled by striking or scratching out. Text contained within square brackets “[...]” is not part of the original. This text is intended as notes or corrections of typographical errors. In the original printings, some text occasionally appears within square brackets “[...].” In such cases, these have been changed to standard parentheses to avoid confusion. (Note: Over time, we will be changing our previously stated policy concerning square brackets to retain Poe’s usage and distinguish our own editorial notes by enclosing these in double-square brackets “[[...]]”.)

These items are arranged alphabetically by name. Within each name, entries are listed chronologically. Some of these items were not published under any specific title and most are, therefore, given here under a title deemed appropriately descriptive. The authorship of some items is a topic long researched and debated. Most of the items included here were signed, but for some, the attribution to Poe is necessarily the result of conjecture.


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Related Material:


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Bibliography:

  • Brigham, Clarence S., Edgar Allan Poe’s Contributions to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 1943. (Also reprinted separately.)
  • Edsall, Thomas, ed., The Poe Catalogue, Baltimore: The 19th Century Shop, 1992. (This catalogue includes a few reprints of material which are not noted elsewhere.)
  • Harrison, James A[lbert]., ed, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 17 vols, New York: T. Crowell, 1902.
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bilbiography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943. (The best overall bibliography of Poe, although it does contain errors and is somewhat outdated.)
  • Levine, Stuart and Susan F., eds., Eureka, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004  (Poe’s text, edited and with an introduction, notes and textual variants)
  • Levine, Stuart and Susan F., eds., Edgar Allan Poe: Critical Theory, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009 (Poe’s texts, edited and with introductory material, notes and textual variants)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe; (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Pollin, Burton R., ed., The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe; Vols. III & IV- The Broadway Journal: Non-Fictional Prose, New York: Gordian Press, 1986; Vol. V - The Southern Literary Messenger: Non-Fictional Prose, New York: Gordian Press, 1997.
  • Thompson, G. Richard, ed., Essays and Reviews, New York: The Library of America, 1984. (A good basic collection.)
  • Vines, Lois D., ed., Poe Abroad: Influence, Reputation, Affinities, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1999. (An extremely useful compendium of articles by various authors, divided by country or region.)
  • Woodberry, George E[dward]. and Stedman, Edmund Clarence, The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 10 vols, Chicago, 1894-1895. (Reprinted in 1903 and 1914.)

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[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - The Essays, Sketches and Lectures of Edgar Allan Poe