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Dr. Thomas Dunn English

(Born: June 29, 1819 - Died: April 1, 1902)

American physician, statesman, editor, author, novelist, poet and satirist. His most famous poem is "Ben Bolt," first published in the New-York Mirror in 1843 and later a very popular song. Having edited the Aurora in 1844, he founded the short-lived Aristidean in 1845, which he also edited. He briefly edited the John Donkey (January - July 1848), and in 1870 he edited the final numbers of the Old Guard. He married Annie Maxwell Meade in 1849. (She died in 1889.) He had four children, of whom his daughter, Alice, published a substantial collection of her father's poems in 1894. Although he and Poe had been friendly during the period of the Aristidean, they became very antagonistic towards each other immediately afterward. Poe successfully sued English and the New-York Mirror for libel in 1847, and English ridiculed Poe in the temperance novel Walter Woolfe; or, The Doom of the Drinker. Although this tale was first published as a book in 1847, it had already been serialized in the Coldwater Magazine in 1843 under the title "The Doom of the Drinker, or, Revel and Retribution." Whether or not Poe was aware of this tale in its earlier form, and its evident caricature of him, is unknown.

Dr. Thomas Dunn English

Criticism (Texts and Variant Texts)

  • "Obituary," New York Times, April 2, 1902.
  • Crisman, William, "Thomas Dunn English," The Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 202: Nineteenth-Century American Fiction Writers, ed. Kent P. Ljungquist, Detroit: Gale Research, 202:100-104.
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • 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)
  • Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849, Boston: G. K. Hall & Sons, 1987.
  • Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske, eds., Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1889, 2:358-359

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