Text: James Kirke Paulding to Edgar Allan Poe — March 17, 1836


New York, 17th March, 1836.

Dear Sir, — In compliance with your wishes, it would have afforded me much pleasure to propose the publication of your book to some one respectable Bookseller of this city. But the truth is, there is only one other, who publishes anything but School Books, religious works and the like, and with him, I am not on terms that would make it agreeable to me, to make any proposition of this nature, either in my own behalf or that of another. I have therefore placed your work in the hands of Messrs. Harpers to forward with a Box of Books they are sending to Richmond in a few days, and I hope it will come safely to hand.

I think it would be worth your while, if other engagements permit, to undertake a Tale in a couple of volumes, for that is the magical number. There is a great dearth of good writers at present both in England and this country, while the number of readers and purchasers of Books, is daily increasing, so that the demand is greater than the supply, in mercantile phrase. Not one work in ten now published in England, will bear republication here. You would be surprised at their excessive mediocrity. I am of opinion that a work of yours, would at least bring you a handsome remuneration, though it might not repay your labours, or meet its merits. Should you write such a work, your best way will be to forward the MS directly to the Harpers, who will be I presume governed by the judgment of their Reader, also from long experience can tell almost to a certainty what will succeed. I am destitute of this valuable instinct, and my opinion counts for nothing with publishers. In other respects you may command my good offices.

I am Dr Sir,

Your friend & Servt,
J. K. Paulding.

Mr. Edgar A. Poe,






[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - J. K. Paulding to Poe (RCL128)