Text: Michael J. Deas, “Felix O. C. Darley,” The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe (1989), p. 133 (This material is protected by copyright)


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­[page 133:]

Caricature by Felix O. C. Darley

Caricature of Edgar Allan Poe [thumbnail]

(fig. 64)
Caricature by Felix O. C. Darley
 
[Illustration on page 133]

While its merits as a likeness are certainly open to question, this amusing silhouette (fig. 64) is significant as the only caricature of Poe to appear in print during his lifetime. Drawn by his friend and occasional collaborator, Felix O. C. Darley, a noted illustrator, the caricature was first published in Holden’s Dollar Magazine for January 1849. There it illustrated part of a satirical poem entitled “A Mirror for Authors” by Augustine J. H. Duganne: “With tomahawk upraised for deadly blow, / Behold our literary Mohawk, POE!”

The verses were a reference to Poe’s well-deserved reputation as a fierce literary critic. The imagery may have been inspired by a brief notice published in the New York Evening Mirror for October 19, 1844: “[Poe] is a man of the finest ideal intellect in the land — carries a nasty tomahawk as a critic — bitter as gall to the literary flies who have been buzzing around his windows.” The woodcut was probably based on an original pen and ink sketch by Darley, present whereabouts unknown.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - PDEAP, 1989] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe (M. J. Deas) (Felix O. C. Darley)