Text: James. H. Whitty, “Foreword,” Edgar Allan Poe: The Man (1926), pp. ix-x


[page ix, unnumbered:]


BY the Editor of “The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe”

WHEN I met the author of this work in a casual way more than ten years ago, her idea of writing a biography of Poe, and more especially her intention to illustrate her subject, after the manner of her “James Fenimore Cooper,” in the fullest and most accurate way possible, strongly appealed to me. At the start a book of less size was expected, but the work was carried on with such vigor for so many years that it necessarily grew in the interim. All the while, I can testify, the author worked faithfully, both in and out of season, spending time and money, and frequently making personal sacrifices solely for the betterment of this work. Under these circumstances it was, indeed, a pleasure and a labor of love for the Poe cause to render the author whatever assistance was in my power; although the deductions and opinions in the book are entirely Miss Phillips’ own, unless otherwise specified.

While Miss Phillips has had some advantages over all her predecessors in having access to the more recently found facts and evidence concerning the poet’s career, still she has added a great deal of new material of her own. This able research and her unprejudiced [page x:] enthusiasm displayed throughout the work are really remarkable. It is very doubtful if any future edition of Poe’s Life can be more fully illustrated than the present. This feature of the work makes it distinctively the most replete and best illustrated biography of Poe extant. The rough galley proofs of the work were read by me with both interest and satisfaction.

I am sure that prefatory remarks for a work that can speak for itself so well as this are little required. Every public and private library, however small, will need to have this complete record of Poe on its shelves. It is a most important contribution to the history of American literature, and Poe students, in particular, must express their deep gratitude to Miss Phillips for all that she has done.


  April, 1926.






[S:0 - EAPTM, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - E. A. Poe: The Man (M. E. Phillips) (Foreword)