Text: Kent P. Ljungquist, “ ‘Mastodons of the Press’: Poe, the Mammoth Weeklies, and the Case of the Saturday Emporium,” Masques, Mysteries and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany (2006), pp. 77-101 (This material is protected by copyright)


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[page 77:]

“MASTODONS OF THE PRESS”: POE, THE MAMMOTH WEEKLIES, AND THE CASE OF THE SATURDAY EMPORIUM

Kent P. Ljungquist

In a 6 September 1845 article in the Broadway Journal, Edgar Allan Poe quoted a poetic jeu d’esprit that had made the rounds of the newspapers several months before. The lines, which originated in the Hartford Columbian, addressed attacks on a long religious poem entitled Saul, A Mystery, written by the Reverend Arthur Cleveland Coxe:

A Reversal.

An entertaining history

Entitled “Saul a mystery,”

Has recently been published by the Rev. Arthur Coxe.

The poem is dramatic,

And the wit of it is attic,

And its teachings are emphatic of the doctrines orthodox.

 

But Mr. Poe, the poet,

Declares he cannot go it —

That the book is very stupid — or something of that sort;

And Green of the Empori

Um, tells a kindred story,

And “swears like any tory” that it isn’t worth a groat.

 

But maugre all their croaking,

Of the “raven” — and the joking

Of the verdant little fellow of the used to be review,

The PEOPLE, in derision

Of their impudent decision,

Have declared without division, that the “Mystery will do.”(1)

In his ample annotations to Poe’s Broadway [page 78:] Journal Prose, Burton R. Pollin unpacks many of the contextual details that stand behind these witty verses, clever enough to have been included as an example of light poetic fare in Sidney Lanier’s The Science of English Verse (1880). Saul, A Mystery had indeed been reviewed in the Broadway Journal, though not by Poe, and Pollin identifies the periodical in question as the New-York Saturday Emporium, one of the historically important mammoth weeklies of Poe’s time. In the absence of a file of the Saturday Emporium, however, Pollin acknowledges that the identity of Green must, of necessity, remain uncertain (P 4:193-194).

Although it would seem pedantic and fruitless to recontextualize the poetic squibs that spiced periodicals like the Hartford Columbian, a file of the Saturday Emporium, available at the American Antiquarian Society, clarifies several additional details in the lines quoted by Poe. The “verdant little fellow” who sponsored an attack on “Saul” was Edmund Brewster Green, editor of Hartford’s New England Weekly Review until he transferred editorial duties to the Emporium. On 24 May 1845 the Emporium did review Saul, A Mystery, calling its author Coxe “young, mediocre, and conceited.” The reviewer, probably associate editor Henry C. Deming, claimed that the most mysterious thing about the poem was that the reader must “become at once familiar with much of it.” The sole merit of the work, according to Deming, was that it was “harmless”; its single fault that “it is good for nothing.” Scoring its derivative “trashy blank verse,” Deming perhaps belabored the obvious in declaring that Coxe was no poet.(2) For his part in 1845, Poe disclaimed any knowledge of Saul, A Mystery, but he may have enjoyed the slashing attack in the Emporium, the tone of which found precedence in his own responses to that mammoth newspaper earlier in the year. His own set of retorts and rejoinders to the Saturday Emporium provide perspective on his attitudes toward the mammoth weeklies and their role in the publishing world of his day.

I

Poe’s ambition to found and edit his own literary magazine, an outlet that would have granted him financial security and artistic control in a contentious literary marketplace, has been well documented by literary historians. Believing with a mixture of idealism and self-interest that the “whole spirit of the age” was toward magazine literature,(3) Poe championed the cause of a periodical that would appeal to highbrow tastes. His plans for the Penn Magazine and the Stylus were based on the establishment of a coterie of the most learned, reputable, and refined authors of America. He sensed, however, that the real tendency of the age was towards cheaper, popular literature [page 79:] produced for the commercial market. In response to these supposed baneful forces in the marketplace, he elevated an independent criticism to counter the influence of “organized cliques, which . . . manufacture, at the nod of our principal booksellers, a pseudo-public opinion by wholesale” (Essays and Reviews 1025). Identifying his goals with a literary elite, with persons of “caste” who had achieved high standing in both the arts and society, Poe adopted a posture that put him in opposition to much of the newspaper press. An apparent reflection of cheapness and commercialization in the newspaper world was the phenomenon of the mammoth weeklies, which flourished in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The physical properties that Poe proposed for his ideal magazine — fine topography, single or double columns carefully arranged to highlight poetry, the absence of cheap engravings in favor of superior woodcuts — contrasted sharply with the appearance of the mammoth weeklies, noted for their huge size, multiple columns, haphazard arrangement of diverse materials, and their notoriously low cost.

As emphatically as Poe glorified elitist standards in literary publication, his activities as a practicing magazinist brought him into direct contact with those features of marketplace he vigorously denounced, including the mammoth weeklies. Indeed contact with these papers, either intentionally or unintentional, was nearly inevitable for him. Brother Jonathan, the first of the mammoth papers when started by Park Benjamin and Rufus W. Griswold in July 1839, reprinted one of Poe’s tales. The New World, first appearing in its four foot length and eleven column width in June 1840 under the editorship of Benjamin and James Aldrich, reprinted poems, tales, and parodies of the author. The Boston Notion, begun by the Yankee businessman George Roberts, also offered reprints in addition to a biographical sketch of Poe.(4) Of the weeklies with which he came into contact, the New-York Saturday Emporium, which he reviewed when editing the Broadway Journal, has received scant attention from historians of publishing, though it evolved from Brother Jonathan and eventually merged with the New World.(5) Offering information that fills minor gaps in the bibliographical record of Poe’s editorships, the Saturday Emporium may be of even greater interest to students of the reemerging field of the history of the book. The Saturday Emporium began at a time when the more notorious mammoth weeklies had either suffered setbacks or passed into oblivion, victims of the same economic forces [page 80:] in the publishing world that had previously brought them to prominence. A close examination of Poe’s interactions with the Emporium, moreover, may show that his position, or posture, in the periodical milieu of the 1840s ironically approximates that of some of the publications he so easily stereotyped or castigated as cheap literature.

II

Products of the economic depression of 1837-1843, the mammoth weeklies were noted primarily for their huge size: witness the case of the New World, which once boasted 48 columns and ran to proportions of 6 feet 7 inches x 4 feet 4 inches. In the eyes of their critics, these gigantic proportions offered opportunities for mirth and satire; their defenders or editors, however, transformed this apparent defect into a virtue. A writer in one of the larger sheets, Boston’s Yankee Blade, used physical size to introduce a discussion of the characteristic features of the mammoths, their popularity, and the revolutionary but short-lived changes they brought to newspaper publishing and editing:

The present is a new era in the history of public journals. Mammoth sheets are now the universal rage, and cast their shadows over every village in the land. Every new paper that is started looms up at once to the bed-blanket size, and bases its claims to support not on the quality of its contents, but on the number of square feet its displays. The small but neat and tasteful sheet, full of choice articles full of pith and point, has ceased to be admired, and attracts, among its big contemporaries, no more notice than a four-penny bit among six cents. Every mail stage groans beneath the weight of the stupendous mastodons of the press; and the whole rag market of the world, suffers in constant depression, or is exposed to the most violent and excessive fluctuations. . . . Every part of these monstrosities of the press is on a gigantic scale. The title is longer than an ordinary column; each column would afford matter enough for an ordinary newspaper; and the newspaper contains as much reading as an ordinary library. With the change in the papers, the qualifications of their conductors, too, have changed. Brains, once so indispensable in an editor, are now superfluous. Instead of vigor and terseness in writing, skill in condensation, and [page 81:] tact in the selection of salient points, the grand requisites are a huge paste-brush and pair of shears!

It is amusing nowadays to mark the apparent connection between every man’s self-importance and the size of his newspaper. We have known several little fellows, who had felt themselves to be but diminutive vegetables before, to have been transformed into Belgian giants in their own estimation, by simply subscribing to a mammoth sheet . . . . Of course few are so green as to fancy that papers of such enormous size, and subscribed for merely as curiosities, are often honored with a perusal; for it is an incontestable fact, that while huge tomes and big newspapers are skimmed over and talked about, it is the diminutive volume and the small gazette only, that are faithfully read. . . .

In looking over the mammoth journals of the day, one is surprised to see of what vile trash they are usually made up. What an expenditure of capital, time, and trouble, without return! What a loss of seas of ink! What a shameful waste of paper that might have been usefully devoted to prevent pies from singing, or to the lining of trunks! We do not wonder that these sheets are brimful of rich reading; but why the editors do not occasionally blunder upon a good article, and copy it by mere accident, is to us a profound mystery — an enigma more inexplicable than the mil in the cocoa-nut, or the assault on “Billy Patterson.” Probably from a mistaken idea that in such a vast profusion of articles the reader must of necessity find some entertaining or instructive ones, no care is exercised in selecting any. But wo to the reader, who, not daunted at the immense distance from the title to the end, explores his way through a region so extensive, but barren of entertainment. No bright oasis relieves his age, or cheats the painful journey. A wide-extended prospect lies before him; but it is a desert of senseless tales, lack-adaisical poetry, and pointless jests. Such papers, before the deluge might have been considered by Methusalah light reading. But since life is unhappily shrunk into a few hasting revolutions of the sun, whole weeks are quite too much to sacrifice to a single newspaper.(6)

The mammoths emphasized volume in more ways than one. One obvious point made by Blade writer is that many of the mammoth [page 82:] papers carried titles or subtitles as extensive as their bulk. The Saturday Emporium, for example, covered much of its masthead with the following subtitle: A Family Gazette of Literature, Art, Science, Agriculture, General Intelligence and Amusement. Its size and scope may have offered a greater volume of reading matter than other periodicals, but the proprietors of such papers discovered that narrow profit margins per issue placed a premium on volume of sales. The absence of binding and stitching reduced production costs, and before the advent of postal reform, the mammoths were sent by cheap newspaper rates rather than higher magazine rates. The products of village or urban interests, as the Blade writer notes, the mammoths aspired nevertheless for more than a local appeal. Agents in cities from different regions were engaged to sell subscriptions. With traditional booksellers still suffering from economic hard times in the late 1830s and having temporarily turned away from the selling of expensively produced novels and romances, the cheap newspapers and magazines asserted themselves by reprinting foreign works in their pages; in the particular case of the mammoth weeklies, they offered special extras or novelistic supplements to current and potential subscribers. Offering a quick ascendancy to “little” men who, in the words of the Blade writer, swelled with pride and profit at production of their gigantic sheets, those market conditions proved unstable at best. For as the Blade writer also notes with his suggestive wordplay, the publishing market could be transformed into a “rag market” that suffered from “constant depression” or “violent and excessive fluctuations.”

A mammoth may have been contained as “much reading as in an ordinary library,” an image of traditional readership, but these papers brought changes in the ways materials in periodicals was edited, disseminated, and consumed. The mammoths paid no particular attention to seasonal publishing or other traditional considerations of the book trade. Their somewhat slapdash appearance, their oceans of ink, and their challenge to traditional authorship brought intense criticism. In the American Whig Review, in an issue reviewed by both the Saturday Emporium and Poe’s Broadway Journal, Evert A. Duyckinck struck at the era of cheap literature as follows: “Nothing has been too mean for that system to produce. It was pregnant with nauseous puffs, unworthy of a mountebank, petty innuendos, and all the corruptions of false literature from an oblique, unworthy insinuations to a gross libel. Native authors were neglected, despised, insulted; foreign authors were mutilated, pillaged and insulted, besides.”(7) [page 83:]

Duyckinck made this charge in hopes that the advent of an International Copyright law might end the era of cheap literature, but by the time of his 1845 tirade, the mammoth weeklies were already on the wane. Traditional publishers had reentered the competition for reprinting foreign literature, a move that contributed to the demise of Brother Jonathan in 1843. The postal service imposed higher rates, particularly on the mailing of fictional supplements, thus reducing one advantage of the mammoths in securing and sustaining subscribers. As other smaller newspapers rose to compete with the original set of weeklies, the same marketplace that had been so hospitable to the making of the Jonathan and its brethren proved their undoing. Improvements in the national economy in the middle of the decade contributed to a preference for more expensive reading fare, and the mammoths were unable to sustain their market advantage. Among the casualties of these economic dislocations in the publishing world were the former beneficiaries of the meteoric rise of the New World. Park Benjamin had withdrawn as editor in 1844, and the journal’s publisher Jonas Winchester was forced to declare bankruptcy shortly thereafter. Serving briefly in Benjamin’s role as editor was Henry C. Deming, a lawyer who displayed a facility for French translation. With Winchester’s financial difficulties, however, the periodical was soon sold to Ward & Co., owner of the Saturday Emporium. The history of that publication — and Poe’s brief comments on it — thus provide a kind of epilogue on the dramatic emergence and speedy decline of the mammoth weeklies in the 1840s.

III

Born out of the ashes of Brother Jonathan and soon to merge with the New World, the New-York Saturday Emporium began publication on 29 June 1844. As Frank Luther Mott has claimed, the charge of laxity in aesthetic or moral standards is not one to be levelled at the entire class of mammoth newspapers. In fact, Edmund Brewster Green, the “verdant little fellow” who assumed editorship of the Emporium after leaving Hartford’s New England Weekly Review, struck a high moral tone in his “Salutatory” notice of 29 June 1844. Promising to contribute to the “formation of correct habits of thinking,” Green claimed that nothing would be served by “breaking down a correct standard of moral culture or vitiating moral taste.” By the middle of the next month, Green’s folio size paper of 36 columns boasted an increase [page 84:] in subscriptions of over 2000, a figure not including the number of subscribers inherited from Brother Jonathan. Selling for just 2 dollars per year, his “full, comprehensive, miscellaneous newspaper” featured a series of metropolitan sketches that inveighed against the evils of fashionable life and licentiousness of all classes. Such statements reflected the conservative notions of editor Green, who sought to apply Whig principles to journalistic practices in both Hartford and New York.(8)

In light of Duyckinck’s previously quoted claim that puffery was one of the hallmarks of the era of cheap literature, it is ironic that the first significant mention of Poe in the Emporium applied that charge to him. In a brief article entitled “Reciprocity” appearing in the Emporium on 25 January 1845, Poe and James Russell Lowell were scored for a mutual exchange of uncritically favorable reviews: “Poe writes a highly favorable review of Lowell’s Poems, and publishes it in Graham’s Magazine. Lowell writes a eulogy on Poe, pronouncing him the wisest critic living, and publishes it in the same periodical. Poe is now one of the editors of the Evening Mirror, and modestly copies Lowell’s article, calling attention to it in a an editorial paragraph.”(9) The two authors were subjected to similar critical scrutiny in the Emporium on 1 February 1845 in an early installment of a literary series called “The Club,” a satire on literary pretensions and libels like Poe’s Folio Club. Fictitious critics, named Sherry, Domine, and Dunnegan, surveyed the literary scene with the particular attention to Poe and Lowell:

Sherry. Have you noticed the peculiar style in which Poe and Lowell are buttering each other. Poe calls Lowell a great poet, and Lowell calls Poe a critic.

Dom. Aye “kittle me, and I’ll kittle you” as we may at home,

Sher. While Lowell yields to Poe the critic’s crown,

And Poe on Lowell’s verses heaps renown,

The scene unto the public eye appears

Like donkies twain who lick each others’ ears.

Dom. Fie, fie, Sherry! you’s libellous. [page 86:]

Dun. Why is Poe like a heifer who tries her voice, yet unripened, to show well?

Omnes. Give it up!

Dun. Because all you can see who have eyes,

That she’s yearning to low-well . . . .

The Mighty. Pooh, you’re making a big fuss about nothing. Answer this: Why is Lowell like poets who laud

The streams of Italia? d’ye know?

Omnes. Give it up!

The M. Because, though he’s not been abroad,

He’s constantly praising the Po!

******

Dom. But you may talk as much and as irreverently as you please of Poe and Lowell, yet the former’s article in the last Godey is a good satire; and the beautiful poem of Lowell to his wife, is just a perfect gem.(10)

The Whig principles of the Emporium editors may have disposed them more positively to Poe’s works when he began to contribute to George Colton’s American Whig Review in 1845. In “Our Book-Table,” the paper’s regular column of literary notices on 8 February 1845, the American Review received general praise, but Poe’s contribution was singled out for special commendation: “The article called ‘Patent Property’ is a good one; and Poe’s or ‘Quarles’ ‘Raven’ is perfectly magnificent; the versification is the most exquisite we have seen any American poem; and the poetry is of the highest order.” This encomium did not, however, come from Green. The Emporium announced on 21 December 1844 that Green had taken a temporary leave of absence from editorial duties while he contributed a series of travel sketches to the paper. This suspension of editorial supervision continued until 19 April 1845 when both he and associate editor Henry C. Deming announced his return to full duties.

Thus, Deming, rather than Green, became embroiled in the Emporium’s most prolonged skirmish with Poe in the spring of 1845. The bone of contention was the appearance of an edition of Bulwer’s Minor Poems, compiled by a contributing editor of the Emporium, C. Donald McLeod. It is not surprising that Bulwer’s work became the [page 86:] object of debate since, along with reprints of Dickens, the British author’s work was among the most widely pirated by the mammoth weeklies. The absence of an international copyright law provided license to American periodicals to reprint, without permission and without providing remuneration to the author, the works of British novelists and poets. The mammoth weeklies were especially notorious for such activities, and even offered the works of Bulwer and Dickens in supplements or extras offered as premiums to potential subscribers. Bulwer’s novels, of course, became popular in these forms, but in an era of cheap reprints, such promotional ventures extended to the publication of his poems. One edition of Bulwer’s poems, for example, sold over 16,000 copies for Brother Jonathan, its low price certainly a prime reason for brisk sales. Another edition of Bulwer’s Eva and Other Poems, in fact sold for as little as six pence.(11)

The problem of cheap British reprints, however, was an issue to which the editors of the Emporium were sensitive. In an early installment of “The Club,” published on 16 November 1844, E. L. Bulwer entered along with a group of rotund American publishers who thanked the British author for their wealth. Bulwer announced that his “novel days” were over, since all his novels had fallen into the “coffers” of American publishers. One overweight publisher announced: “Sir Lytton, we have called you here to state our many obligations to you. I and my brethren have lived and grown fat upon your brain. . . . But you had a copyright in England; and that’s enough for an author. Yet Sir Lytton, we feel indebted to you for most of our substance; and we wish to repay you for all we have taken.” The fat publishers then gave Bulwer a silver toothpick as a toke of thanks.

Within this context the Emporium announced the forthcoming publication of Bulwer’s Minor Poems, edited by McLeod, on 7 December 1844: “We see that J. W. Judd & Co., have in press and will shortly publish a volume with this title. Those who are acquainted with Bulwer . . . as a poet, only through his ‘Rebels,’ or ‘Siamese Twins,’ have a rich treat in store for them. His shorter poems, are for the most part of exquisite beauty; they abound in his peculiar imagery, epigrammatic turn of thought, or elevated philosophy. ‘When stars are in the quiet skies,’ ‘Patience and Hope,’ and ‘Mazarin’ are poems rarely equalled. The forthcoming volume embraces nearly all, that he has written, except such as his own expressed taste has already [page 87:] condemned. We fully recommend the book to all lovers of true and beautiful poetry.”(12)

Such an enthusiastic disposition toward Bulwer put the Emporium on a potential collision course with Poe, who reviewed the volume in the Broadway Journal on 8 February 1845. As Pollin notes (P 4:18), the review contained an odd mixture of respect for McLeod’s “fame” and disdain for his immaturity. McLeod (1821-1865) was indeed young, but by the mid-1840s, he had contributed to a range of periodicals, including the Emporium. In praising Bulwer for his epigrammatism and “peculiarities,” that paper apparently drew directly from its young editor’s preface. That short introductory essay then drew Poe’s ire as he directed criticism toward both Bulwer as well as his compiler. Poe scored McLeod for his capricious, immature judgment in selecting verses for the collection and for his uncritical faith in Bulwer’s versatile genius. Poe then proceeded to distinguish Bulwer’s admitted talent from authentic genius, a contradistinction that would be repeated in other Poe essays. It followed as a corollary, Poe argued, that Bulwer could not be a true poet, since genius without true poetic distinction was a contradiction in terms. Adopting the role of cultural arbiter, Poe displayed disdain for the youthful McLeod, referred to as Bulwer’s “acolyte,” who aspired to notoriety by compiling a cheap abridgment of a popular author’s work. Poe’s own sensitivity about editors or compilers deriving notoriety from bringing together an author’s scattered pieces may have sharpened the tone of the review.(13) His penchant for developing such hierarchies, his sharp contrast between authors of genius and popular writers like Bulwer, also colored his caustic comments in the review.

Poe’s posture of superiority before the commercial marketplace was further reflected in his tone of amused disdain directed at the world of the mammoth weeklies in an 8 March 1845 column in the Broadway Journal.(14) Like the writer in the Yankee Blade, who jocularly noted that a mammoth sheet could serve as a bed blanket as well as for providing reading matter, Poe struck directly at the Saturday Emporium:

This is an admirable paper, one better adapted to the uses of the poor we have never stumbled upon in the course of our Newspaper experience, since it can be put to more uses than one; after it has enlightened the intellect, refreshed the spirit and warmed the heart, it may be made [page 88:] to warm the body by using it as a counterpane for the bed. It is large enough, stout enough, and white enough. Neither does it contain any of those heavy articles which papers of this class often do that would be likely to bruise the limbs if used in the way we have recommended, nor any of the poppyish ones that would be likely to cause too deep a slumber, nor any of those grotesque ones which would cause nightmares, nor yet any of those very light articles which would keep it from lying gently upon a sleeper. — However, it was not our intention to pronounce a panegyric, though we hardly know of a case in which we could do it with a clearer conscience, but to vindicate ourselves from a vile aspersion on our critical honesty which the paper contained last Saturday, in a notice of our review of Bulwer’s Minor Poems published by Farmer and Daggers, and edited by C. Donald McLeod. So far from having any “private pique” to “gratify,” we have no private feelings of any kind, but pure good will, towards every person whose name is connected with the book, excepting Bulwer, for whom we entertain no very profound admiration. Mr. Macleod will acquit us of the smallest tinge of personal unkindness towards himself, for we only know him by his writings which have heretofore impressed us with a very high opinion of his abilities; and for the publisher of the “Minor Poems,” we certainly have none but the kindest feelings. Do not, we beseech of you, Messieurs of the Emporium, accuse us of making attacks upon people when we simply utter our opinions and fortify them with reasons (P 3:35).

In proposing that the Emporium could serve as a coverlid for a bed, Poe obviously played on his audience’s awareness of the mammoth size of the paper. In suggesting that the Emporium, moreover, could serve the practical uses of the “poor,” he offered an evaluation of cheap literature, its readers, and the “class” of periodicals to which the paper belonged. In punning on the Emporium’s possible inclusion of “light” rather than “heavy” articles, Poe commented on the cheapening of standards in the periodical milieu, a pandering to superficial, ephemeral subject matter rather than issues of intelligent weight. Overall, the facetious and equivocal review — offering ritualistic flattery in the guise of a tongue in cheek “panegyric” — seemed to bewilder the editors of the Emporium. [page 89:]

On 15 March 1845 the interim editor Henry C. Deming’s response displayed his clear knowledge that Poe was the individual who had attacked McLeod:

The editors of the Broadway Journal favored us with a notice last week, which we are somewhat at a loss how to interpret. To be told in one sentence that our paper may in an emergency serve for a “counterpane” can scarcely be regarded as complimentary; and yet to be told in the next that the Emporium is an “admirable paper,” that its articles are neither “heavy,” “poppyish,” nor “grotesque,” is equally inconsistent with censure. If our contemporaries intended to bestow praise, their panegyric is a bungling one; and if they attempted to be satirical, the satire is very mysterious. There is in fact, a want of unity, in the article of our friends (?) that argues an indecision of purpose, and we are at a loss to know whether it was indited in the spirit of Lucius or Sempronius. We are compelled at present to regard the notice of the Journal, as a specimen of the mongrel breed, half compliment,half banter; and as we are not of a belligerent disposition, and have, moreover, a great respect for the trenchant weapon which the critical trio wield, we shall think twice before we throw down the gauntlet. If, however, the editors of the Journal will explain their feelings more unequivocally, we trust we shall not shrink from reciprocating them, whatever their nature may be. We should much prefer the calumet of peace, but if forced into a tilt with Coeur de Lion, we shall attempt to do our devoir with becoming chivalry.(15)

We certainly thought that the article upon Mr. McLeod’s edition of Bulwer’s Minor Poems, was dictated by personal pique. The office of collecting and arranging these fugitive pieces, was certainly not such an ambitious one as to draw particular attention to Mr. McLeod. Even if it was an offence, it was not a sufficiently grave one to deserve great severity of rebuke, and yet he is censured for this in good round terms, through two columns of the Journal. The preface of Mr. M.’s book of two or three well written pages, which would have escaped the attention of any but a censorious eye, and yet upon this preface an amount of critical acumen, which would have sufficed for an ordinary volume, is wasted; winding up, with advising Mr. McLeod to “publish the next edition without the [page 90:] preface.” Indeed, the article throughout evinced such a disposition to magnify trifles, and exaggerate blemishes, that we supposed Mr. M. was personally obnoxious to the author. The editors of the Journal, in their last disclaim any such motives, and we most cheerfully withdraw our charge.

We need not repeat what we have frequently said before, that we have a great respect for the ability with which the Broadway Journal is conducted, and for the fairness and candour of its general tone of criticism. It is a paper which we have long needed, and it has our best wishes for its success.

On 22 March 1845, Poe, sustaining his verbal play, responded with another brief article on the Emporium:

There is an excellent weekly paper with this title published in New York, by Ward & Co., of Ann street. It happens we have never seen more than three numbers of it, the last of which contained an imputation upon our editorial honesty, which we felt bound to answer; and being struck with the generally agreeable tone of its articles, its enormous size, and neat appearance, we took that occasion to state the same to our friend, the public. It so happened also that we had just read a paragraph which has been pretty generally circulated the last three months, informing the poor that a sheet of brown paper would make a warmer coverlid for a bed than an ordinary rose blanket; and it seemed to us that a poor family could not do a better thing this cold weather, than to provide themselves with a paper for a sixpence, which would answer the double purpose of a “quilt by night, a library by day,” which we said.

It appears that the Emporium regards this as a doubtful compliment, but it appears to us that we could not have paid it a more unequivocal one. However, the Emporium says it prefers the calumet of peace, to the tomahawk of war. Very good. Then put this in your pipe and smoke it; and when you copy any thing from our columns again, have the kindness to give us credit for it (P 3:57).

Implying that faint and dubious praise was the only “compliment” he could offer to the Emporium, Poe assigned multiple uses to the paper, and thus called attention to his own “double purpose.” [page 91:] Mentioning that a newspaper functioned as a “library” for its readers, he acknowledged how the traditional notion of the attentive reader had been cheapened through the physical medium out of which newspapers were printed. Relegating this mammoth paper to the class of “poor” readers, he maintained his posture of superior tactician in literary battles. By suggesting that the Emporium had pilfered from the Broadway Journal, Poe invoked the traditional notion of credit for authorship. He may have recalled a 15 February 1845 article in the Emporium, “Authors and Publishers.” That article, with its lament for an absence of international copyright, recalled Poe’s “Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison House” that had just appeared in the Broadway Journal (Essays and Reviews). Both articles described the low status of “poor-devil authors,” whose teeming brains and empty stomachs signified the plight of American magazinists.

Apparently adopting Poe’s call to exchange the “tomahawk of war” for the “calumet of peace,” the Emporium gave positive notices to both Poe’s Tales and The Raven and Other Poems later in the year. In “Our Book-Table,” appearing in the Emporium on 5 July 1845, the editors had these words of praise for the second number in Wiley & Putnam’s Library of American Books. “Mr. Poe’s style is one which possesses a great many striking peculiarities. The volume before us contains a number of the most characteristic and best of his tales, among which are the Gold Bug, Marie Roget, and the Murders in the Rue Morgue. The first mentioned of these tales, strikes us as being the most ingenious and highly artistical; and evinces most conspicuously the spirit of analysis so peculiar to all of Mr. Poe’s writings.” If Poe saw the notice, he must have been pleased with the agreeable tone of a newspaper with which he had done battle only a few months before. Ever mindful of the literary politics he was practicing, however, he may have also noticed that the key words of praise in the review — calling attention to “peculiarity” in style, his methods of “ingenious” analysis, the “characteristic” nature of the tales in the volume — were lifted from a longer discussion of his tales by George Colton in the American Whig Review.(16) On one hand, the Emporium took a cue from its fellow Whig publication. On the other hand, the Emporium, given to the terse notice rather than a sustained review, gave an implicit not to the more respectable world of magazine literature.

On 22 November 1845 the Emporium reviewed volume no. VIII in Wiley and Putnam’s Library of American Books, The Raven and Other Poems. Without repeating the lavish praise they had given the title [page 92:] poem, the editors acknowledged a feature of the volume that Poe emphasized in his own preface — his rationale in collecting the pieces was to reassert authorial control over poems that had been scattered among miscellaneous newspapers. Perhaps recalling another collection of fugitive verses that had won Poe’s ire because of its miscellaneous nature and its prefatory essay (i.e., Donald McLeod’s edition of Bulwer’s Minor Poems), the editors went out of their way to praise the preface of Poe’s volume: “our readers, of course, know most of these poems, which have already gone the rounds of many periodicals and newspapers in the country. We admire them, and always have admired Mr. Poe’s writings, but we are particularly pleased with the author’s pert and independent preface to the present volume.”(17) It was no accident that in that preface Poe had mentioned the “paltry compensations” offered authors for their verses.

IV

Of the slightly over a dozen items on Poe appearing in the Emporium, some are brief notices; others are more lengthy in describing Poe’s editorial activities. None of them analyzes his work in any great depth.(18) Nevertheless, Poe’s interactions demonstrate his responses to the phenomenon of the mammoth weeklies as he adopted the posture of the superior magazine editor who comments on developments in the cheap press. Ironically Poe’s position in the commercial marketplace came closer to that of the mammoth weeklies than he was inclined to admit. Despite his immersion in the fast-paced world of periodicals, Poe maintained a traditional reverence for the world of book culture. His reviews in the magazines he edited, whether of Bulwer, Dickens, or American authors, followed the traditional notion that a book, rather than short fugitive pieces or assembled miscellanies, was the proper reflection of an author’s mind and imagination; it provided the only medium through which to take full account of an author’s achievement. Thus we see his impatience with collections of fugitive pieces, miscellaneous publications that would not allow a reviewer to take stock of an author’s development, output, and distinctiveness. But as he himself acknowledged elsewhere, the whole tendency of the periodical world was toward the short, terse, and ephemeral as opposed to the more sturdy and substantial productions of the book world, full length works that required time to digest, assimilate, and evaluate. The irony of Poe’s [page 93:] literary career was that he spent so much time and effort in the world of periodicals, toiling in a marketplace of short, ephemeral pieces, ever mindful that authors would eventually be judged by their more substantial achievements in the world of books.(19) Or as Lewis P. Simpson articulates Poe’s dilemma, despite his aspirations for “a coherent literary culture, he participated constantly in the life of America’s Grub Street. He lived more intimately in the America where literature was product and commodity than any other major writer of the nineteenth century.”(20(

Ironically, that tension was felt as well by the editor of the Emporium, whose “Thoughts on Newspapers” on 27 June 1844 made the traditional distinction between world of newspapers and the world of books. Acknowledging that practically every village in the nation boasted a “sheet of ample dimensions,” Edmund Brewster Green pointed to newspapers as “universal and necessary commodity” that fulfilled a reading appetite that books could not satisfy. Newspapers, presenting brief articles that could be read quickly, reflected the stir and bustle of the past-paced times. They thus seemed more “congenial to the tastes and character of the present age.” Despite such praise of the world of the press, a traditional reverence for book culture surfaced strongly in Green’s essay, for he reluctantly acknowledged that newspapers “bid fair to supersede even books.” A penchant for the casual, spontaneous world of the newspaper threatened to debase and unsettle taste. Books, Green concluded, transmitted the “mind and genius of the age” while newspapers ultimately had no distinctive character except for their possible encouragement of superficiality. A similar impatience with the corruption and shallowness of popular taste surfaced as well as two articles on “International Copyright” published in the Emporium on 3 and 10 August 1844.(21) Precisely those characteristics Green found defects in newspapers — lightness, superficiality, ephemerality — he associated with the plight of American letters. Only an international copyright law, which provided sufficient emolument to native authors, could further the cause of American literature. So much of American talent and genius, those characteristics Poe never conjoined, was wasted, Green lamented, on hack work for newspapers that appealed to the low tastes of the multitude.

On a range of issues, perhaps extending to the specific arguments for an international copyright law, Poe, however, would have been likely to agree. When he claimed, in reviewing the Emporium on 22 [page 94:] March 1845, that he had seen no “more than three numbers of it,” he may have adopted a rhetorical posture of critical detachment from the world of the cheap newspaper press. Or he may have missed the true character of the Emporium, subtitled “A Family Newspaper” that offered nothing to offend sensitivities or to challenge existing standards of taste. Poe’s place in the periodical world of 1845 was not that different from Green’s, an irony accented by a 31 January 1846 article in the Emporium that promoted the publication as a newspaper in the magazine class, precisely the class to which Poe aspired. That article on “Magazines and Newspapers,” in fact, compared the Emporium to the Columbian Magazine to which Poe had just contributed.

Additional ironies are suggested by the final two Poe items appearing in the Saturday Emporium. In preparing his sketches on the “The Literati” of New York City for Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1846, Poe adopted the posture of a member of polite society taking the measure of the reputable authors in America’s cultural metropolis. He fell short of his target and objective, for the sketches amounted to a series of hasty portraits. Rather than thoughtful estimations of the mind and achievement of each author, the series aroused a furor over their personal attacks; they seemed to fortify the furor biographicus in American periodicals, a feature of cheap literature denounced by Evert Duyckinck since it encouraged a cult of personality or a superficial nationalism rather than careful examination of individual genius. Thus, in “Edgar A. Poe,” on 9 May 1846, the Emporium criticized Poe for debasing public taste rather than enhancing it:

A most unsuccessful attempt has been made within a month past to create a sort of unnatural furor of excitement in this city by numerous advertisements, setting forth that the May number of a Philadelphia Magazine would contain “Mr. Edgar A. Poe’s opinions of the literary characters of New York.” Indeed, so unsuccessful was the attempt that it only excited the mirth and ridicule of those who took the trouble to notice the announcement. But since the publication of the learned critic’s opinion, the ‘literary world’ of the metropolis has become involved in utter and entire obfuscation. To a man; nay, even to a woman, they are totally and irrevocably demolished, decapitated, ruined, ‘used up.’ Not a pen is left to indite to “Sonnet to Returning Summer,” or write a respectable “Obituary — on the death of a dear friend.” By one, single, sudden, [page 95:] inexplicable swoop of the tail of this “Encke’s Comet” of the literary universe, the stars of our particular hemisphere have been completely thrown from their orbits into unknown, never-to be explored space; or to use a more classic phrase, they have “by one fell swoop,” been “knocked into a cocked hat!” We are now in the midst of Poe-dom worse by a thousand degrees than t’other place, where, perhaps, if let alone, in the course of time, our splendid efforts at elevating the character of our national literature, would have naturally consigned us. Oh, that we could have known enough of ass-stronomy to have predicted the fearful approach of this raging, roaring, roystering ruinous comet, then might we have defied the destructive power of his provoked wrath and with that expressive gesticulation so familiar with the ancients when putting at defiance the threats of the gods, by placing the thumb of one hand against the extreme point of the proboscis, making certain mysterious gyrations in the air with the other, we might have exclaimed, not provocatively as did one Mr. Macbeth to one Mr. Macduff, but in the language of a certain distinguished Western orator “Mister Poe — you c-a-n-t come it!” “Alas! that it is now too late and we are in a heap of ruins!” Who shall survive the shock? What uncreated power will be born to us to bring us back again and restore to us our original state of glorification and independence? Cannot Mr. Poe be induced to retract what he has said — suppress his opinion and ‘live and let live’? We tremble for all coming generation. . . .

What had been initially cheered as a journalistic hit quickly deteriorated into literary warfare in which offended parties expressed outrage at Poe’s comments in the “Literati.” Perhaps the ultimate irony, from the perspective of Poe’s financial interests, is that the series of sketches that formed the foundation of a contemplated book on American literature, a project that might have granted fame and fortune, cost him much of his livelihood. “The Literati” led to the libel suit of Thomas Dunn English,(22) whose attacks on Poe were recorded in “A Literary Warfare,” published in the Emporium on 27 June 1846. “The Literati” and the libel suit formed a chain of circumstances that rendered Poe an object of public charity by the end of the year. [page 96:] Finally, the Emporium commented on the way in which his sallies against his contemporaries left him a mere skeleton of his former self:

Mr. Edgar A. Poe, whilome editor of the late Broadway Journal, is getting himself into hot water by his recent attacks upon the literati of New York. Most of these authors have been permitted to pass unnoticed, as they were generally deemed malignant and puerile, and attributed to the acerbated feelings of the author, who so signally failed to improve by his residence here, the reputation which accompanied him from his last place of his abode. In the last number of a Philadelphia Magazine, of which he is a contributor, he renews his hostilities; and, among others, Mr. Thomas Dunn English, late editor of the Aurora, Aristidean, &c comes in for a share of his animosity. The attack upon this gentleman was deemed so gratuitous and uncalled for, that he proposed to reply to it, and accordingly, in the Morning Telegraph of last Tuesday, we have one over the signature of Mr. English.

We have not read the article published in the magazine, yet from what we have been able to gather from a perusal of the reply, we infer that it contains a most gross and wanton attack on Mr. English’s reputation as a writer and a scholar. The latter in his reply does not attempt any defence of these charges, but, with all the coolness with which a surgeon would set to work to dissect a dead body, he takes the author in hand, and in a very short space of the times leaves him a most finished skeleton.

Among the charges brought by Mr. English against Mr. Poe, there are several of a very grave character. He charges him with having obtained money under false pretences — of having been accused of forgery — of having acknowledged himself guilty of vilely slandering a respectable lady, a distinguished authoress, — of having disqualified himself by a week’s debauchery for fulfilling an engagement to deliver a poem before one of the Societies of the New York University — and various other acts of gross misconduct which we have not room nor time to enumerate. Mr. English says, that for his gross personal abuse, because he would not help him out of a difficulty in which he became involved, he was obliged to cuff him and expel him from his room.

Unless we are much mistaken, Mr. Poe will have occasion to regret having provoked this controversy, at [page 97:] least — whether his other attacks afford him any gratification or not. In regard to the course pursued by him, we have only a few words to say. We think it a manifestation of great weakness and impotency, and ridiculous in the extreme. Had he been assailed by the press, or by the pens, or even the tongue of these persons against whom he is levelling all his batteries of ill-timed wrath, there would be some justification for him to rest upon — but to provoke a war of words for the sake of venting a petty spleen, harmless to all but himself, is intolerable. When Lord Byron wrote his ‘English Bards and scotch Reviewers,’ the motive, as well as the act, was universally applauded, because he was acting in self-defence — without that justification, what would have been the measure of credit bestowed upon him, however meritorious the poem?

It is sadly ironic that the newspaper, which Poe characterized as worthy only to be a coverlid for a bed, proclaimed him a victim of the same literary warfare he fomented. Using magazine parlance to comment on his reversal of fortune, The Emporium labelled Poe a “used up” author, “dissected” and “finished” by his detractors. It used, moreover, a variant of the language of “A Reversal”: “Mister Poe, you can’t come it!” A premature epitaph, the article in the Emporium is nevertheless an appropriate epilogue to Poe’s battles with the mammoth weeklies, also weakened and nearly “finished” by the same market forces that brought them to prominence. Products of the reading revolution of the early nineteenth century, the mammoths became objects of ridicule to critics who saw them as unworthy competitors to books and magazines. Poe’s contradistinction of “genius” and “talent,” his opposition of the true poet and the popular writer, his hierarchy of the relative merits of books, magazine, and newspapers — all these categories reflected his attachment to a literary order that transcended the values of Grub Street. As evidenced by his unstable position in the magazine publishing world, his claim of status was often more rhetorical posture or proclamation than an accurate reflection of the accelerating changes in the literary marketplace of which he was a critic and victim.

 


[page 98:]

NOTES

1.  P 3:244 Pollin’s notes to the Broadway Journal and to Poe’s Brevities (P 2:367-369) contain background information on the poetic squib and Sidney Lanier’s partial quotation of it. In the Saturday Emporium on 9 August 1845, the editors, in addition to reprinting “A Reversal,” included the following four line “Rejoinder”: “Dear Retorter, your verses are prime; / And came to our hand in good season; / ‘Tis well you defend our dear Arthur in rhyme! / For you know you can’t do it in reason!” Charles Briggs reviewed Saul in the Broadway Journal 1 (1845) 296-297. No file of the Hartford Columbian has survived, but “A Reversal” must have appeared there sometime between late May, when Saul was reviewed, and early August 1845.

2.  The puns on “mystery” in the Emporium review of “Saul” were likely the work of Henry Champion Deming (1805-1852), who translated Eugene Sue’s The Mysteries of Paris (cited in the review) in 1840. Deming joined the Emporium in November 1844 after serving with Park Benjamin on the New World. He served as mayor of Hartford (1854-58, 1860-62) and eventually in the U.S. Congress. Edmund B. Green (1814-1852) was heavily involved in Whig politics as a journalist and eventually as private secretary to Henry Clay. For an overview of his career, see John Spencer Clark, The Life and Letters of John Fiske (Boston and New York, 1917), 1:1-8. Green was the father of the popular historian John Fiske, born Edmund Fisk Green in 1842. Milton Berman, in John Fiske, Evolution of a Popularizer (Cambridge, 1961), pp. 7-8, incorrectly identifies Edmund Brewster Green’s New York newspaper as the Saturday Review. Coxe (1818-1896) was an Episcopalian churchman and an author of Christian ballads before he wrote such works as “Saul.” Poe later consulted Saul, as his reprinting of “A Rejoinder” in an 1849 “Marginalia” indicates (P 2:367-369).

3.  See Poe’s 2 November 1844 letter to Charles Anthon, O 266-272. Other relevant documents include, of course, his prospectuses for the Penn Magazine and the Stylus, reprinted in Edgar Allan Poe: Essays and Reviews, ed. G. Richard Thompson (New York, 1984), pp. 1024-26, 1033-35, and his comments in the “Marginalia” on the tendency toward the curt and condensed in periodicals (P 2:248, 308). An insightful overview of Poe’s relationship to the literary marketplace, to which I am indebted throughout this essay, is Bruce I. Weiner, The Most Noble of Professions: Poe and the Poverty of Authorship (Baltimore, 1987).

4.  “Never Bet the Devil Your Head” was reprinted in 1841 in Brother Jonathan. The New World reprinted Poe’s “Autography” and “Ligeia.” See also Burton R. Pollin, “Poe in the Boston Notion,” NEQ [page 99:] 42 (1969) 585-589 and “Poe and the Boston Notion,” ELN 8 (1970) 23-28.

5.  Frank Luther Mott, whose treatment of “The Mammoth Papers” remains standard, notes how the New World merged into the Saturday Emporium, A History of American Magazines (New York, 1930) 1:361-362. James J. Barnes surveys the mammoth weeklies in the light of the economic depression of 1837-43 in Authors, Publishers, Politicians: The Quest for an Anglo-American Copyright Agreement 1815-1854 (Columbus, Oh., 1974) pp. 1-28. See also Eugene Exman, The House of Harper: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Publishing (New York, 1945) pp. 24-26.

6.  “Mammoth Newspapers,” Yankee Blade, 14 August 1847. Published in Waterville and Gardiner, Maine before moving to Boston in 1847, the Yankee Blade, like the more famous mammoth weeklies, reprinted Poe’s works: “The Haunted Palace” on 12 February 1845 and “Mesmeric Revelation” on 26 March 1845. These reprints supplement those listed in M.

7.  Duyckinck, “Literary Prospects for 1845,” American Whig Review 1 (1845) 148-149.

8.  For Poe’s temporary and uneasy relationship with Whig publications, see David A. Long, “Poe’s Political Identity: The Mummy Unswathed,” PoeS 23 (1990) 1-22.

9.  Poe, who used Lowell’s good offices in arranging his appearance before the Boston Lyceum in 1845, reviewed him favorably in the March 1844 Graham’s Magazine (Essays and Reviews pp. 809-814). The New England author returned the favor, praising Poe in the February 1845 Graham’s. Lowell’s essay is conveniently reprinted in I. M. Walker, ed., Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage (London, 1986) pp. 156-168.

10.  The satire by Poe, in all likelihood, was “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherezade,” published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in February 1845. In “The Club” on 15 February 1845, the Emporium asked: Will Willis and his opponents cease squabbling and “Lick one another like Lowell and Poe?”

11.  My discussion derives from Barnes’s authoritative discussion of copyright (pp. 52-60).

12.  As Pollin’s notes to the Broadway Journal Prose (P 4:17-18) indicate, this review of Bulwer’s “Minor Poems,” as the Emporium called the book published by J. W. Judd, was omitted from the Harrison edition. Pollin’s edition helpfully restores it, but notes that there was no [page 100:] publisher named Farmer and Daggers. That label, however, applied to a published outlet or “A New Publishing House,” assisted by Park Benjamin, which had taken over the holdings of Jonas Winchester. See the Saturday Emporium, 18 January 1845; and “Mr. Daggers’ Cheap Publications,” Emporium, 22 March 1845. Bulwer’s volume of poems sold for a mere 50 cents.

13.  Weiner, The Most Noble of Professions pp. 12-13. McLeod had more extensive experience than Poe’s comments reflect. By the mid-1840s he had contributed to the following periodicals: New World, Rover, Brother Jonathan, Iris, New York Illustrated Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine, and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. A column in the 17 May 1845 Emporium noted how the paper had doubled the subscriptions of the New World and described McLeod’s responsibility for the essay and review department along with James Mackay. On 3 October 1846, the editors asked the following rhetorical question: “Where is C. Donald McLeod? in a cloud flying?” McLeod took orders in the Episcopal Church before embarking for Europe in 1850.

14.  The Emporium responded immediately to Poe’s attack on McLeod, but no files of the paper are available for 22 February, 1 March, and 8 March 1845. A defense of McLeod during these weeks, nevertheless, can be inferred from Poe’s columns in the Broadway Journal and subsequent columns in the Emporium.

15.  In “Authors’ Pay in America,” a 10 October 1844 column in the New York Evening Mirror, Nathaniel Parker Willis had announced Poe’s role on the periodical as follows: “We solemnly summon Edgar Poe to do the devoir of Coeur de Lion — no man’s weapon half so trenchant!” — Dwight Thomas and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe (Boston, 1987) pp. 473-474.

16.  American Whig Review, 2 (1845) 306-309.

17.  These two notices supplement those in Pollin, “Poe ‘Viewed and Reviewed’: An Annotated Checklist of Contemporaneous Notices,” PoeS 13 (1980) 17-28.

18.  See the Emporium for the following dates: 9 November 1844, reviewing Godey’s, and including Poe among “writers of acknowledged ability”; 30 November 1844, commenting on “Byron and Miss Chaworth”; 25 January 1845, noting “a capital article” by Poe from Godey’s; 1 February 1845, noting Poe’s portrait in Graham’s; 26 April 1845, commenting on plagiarism charges against Longfellow; 9 August 1845, reviewing the American Whig Review’s “capital number” with Poe’s article on American Drama. On 13 December 1845, the Emporium reviewed the American Whig Review: “Mr. Poe, in an article [page 101:] entitled ‘Facts of M. Valdemar’s Case,’ seems to have attained what he is generally striving after — the incomprehensible.” The 7 March 1846 Emporium reviewed Graham’s and its “uncommonly good number, full of choice articles” (Poe among them). On 14 November 1846, the Emporium reprinted “Epitaph on a Modern Critic. P’Oh Pudor!” from the Knickerbocker.

19.  See his “Marginalia” in which he noted that the “curt, the condensed, the well-digested in place of the voluminous” was a hallmark of an emerging periodical literature, calling for a “light artillery rather than the peace-makers of the intellect” (Essays and Reviews p. 1377).

20.  The Man of Letters in New England and the South (Baton Rouge, 1973) p. 147. See also William Charvat, The Profession of Authorship in America, 1800-1870, ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli (Columbus, Oh., 1968) pp. 84-98 and Larzer Ziff, Literary Democracy (New York, 1981) p. 75.

21.  Green took his articles verbatim from issues of Hartford’s New England Weekly Review, 19 February 1842 and 23 April 1842. Green defended Charles Dickens when the British novelist spoke in favor of international copyright during his first visit to America in 1842. See Sidney P. Moss, Charles Dickens’ Quarrel with America (Troy, N.Y., 1984). Green was a member of the committee that welcomed Dickens to Hartford. See Dickens’s letters to Green, The Letters of Charles Dickens, eds. Madeline House, Graham Storey, and Kathleen Tillotson (Oxford, 1974) pp. 23-24, 61.

22.  For a fully documented history of the libel suit, see Moss, Poe’s Major Crisis: His Libel Suit and New York’s Literary World (Durham, N.C., 1980).

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - MMM, 2006] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Masques, Mysteries and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany (Mastodons of the Press: Poe, the Mammoth Weeklies and the Case of the Saturday Emporium)