The Wm. Duane copy of Southern Literary Messenger (with changes about 1839)


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Volumes I and II of the Southern Literary Messenger (August 1834-September 1835 and December 1835-November 1836), which Poe used about 1839 to revise eight of his stories for publication in the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (dated 1840 on the title page, but available about December 1839). The nature of the revisions in volume I strongly suggest that it was Poe’s own copy, while surviving letters clearly show that Poe indirectly borrowed the second volume from Duane in 1844. It is possible that in selling books, in preparation for their move to New York, Mrs. Clemm took Duane’s volume along with Poe’s own to the bookseller, and that Duane ended up with both volumes in buying back his own from Richmond. The changes are made in very faint pencil, which has faded over time.

Only the items reprinted in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque are listed below, with links for those which show manuscript changes in the Duane copy:

  • Berenice”  (originally printed in the issue of March 1835, 1:333-336)
  • “Morella”  (originally printed in the issue of April 1835, 1:448-450) (Although there are many changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, there are no changes made in the Duane copy)
  • “Lionizing”  (originally printed in the issue of May 1835, 1:515-516) (Although there are many changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, there are no changes made in the Duane copy)
  • Hans Phaall” (originally printed in the issue of June 1835, 1:565-580) (the pages for this story appear to have been removed from the volume, and reinserted, perhaps to facilitate typesetting for the new texts.)
  • The Visionary” (originally printed in the issue of July 1835, 1:637-640)
  • Bon-Bon” (originally printed in the issue of August 1835, 1:693-698)
  • Loss of Breath” (originally printed in the issue of September 1835, 1:735-740)
  • King Pest” (originally printed in the issue of September 1835, 1:757-761)
  • Shadow” (originally printed in the issue of September 1835, 1:762-763)
  • “MS. found in a Bottle”  (originally printed in the issue of December 1835, 2:33-37) (Although there are changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, there are no changes made in the Duane copy)
  • Metzengerstein” (originally printed in the issue of January 1836, 2:97-100)
  • “The Duc de L’Omelette”  (originally printed in the issue of February 1836, 2:150-151) (There are no verbal changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, and there are no changes made in the Duane copy)
  • “Epimanes”  (originally printed in the issue of March 1836, 2:235-238) (Although there are changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, there are no changes made in the Duane copy)
  • “A Tale of Jerusalem”  (originally printed in the issue of April 1836, 2:313-314) (Although there are changes in the version printed in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, there are no changes made in the Duane copy)

 


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Bibliographic Data:

8vo. (about 10 in x 6 1/2 in). Bound in full and half morocco, in red morocco solander cases.


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Census of Copies:

There were many copies of the original volumes of the Southern Literary Messenger, but this copy, with Poe’s pencilled annotations, presumably made about 1839 in preparation for Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840). Only one owner left his name in the volumes, William Duane (1808-1882), who had been a contributor to the Messenger. The provenance of this entry is established as authoritatively as possible, given the sketchy and often convoluted bits of information available:

  • Lawrence Fox, private collector (purchased from the auction of the library of H. Bradley Martin, January 1990). 1. Edgar Allan Poe (the presence of Poe’s handwritten changes, made in 1839, suggest that the volumes were originally his own, no longer needed after the printing of Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque); 2. William Duane, Jr. (1808-1882) (some time before 1893, Poe’s two letters to Duane were already in the collection of Ferdinand Julius Dreer, of Philadelphia, suggesting that Duane”s library was dispersed within a few years of his death); 3. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) (volume II borrowed for Poe by Henry Beck Hirst); 3. William or Lewis A. Leary, a bookseller in Philadelphia, PA (volume II mistakenly sold by Mrs. Clemm); 4. Bookseller in Richmond, VA (volume II only); 5. Publishers of the Southern Literary Messenger (volume II only, purchased from the Richmond bookseller); 6. William Duane (volume II repurchased by Duane, through a friend, from the SLM publishers); 7. J. H. Whitty (the proper senquece of Whitty’s ownership is uncertain, but Whitty claimed in his edition of Poe’s Complete Poems of 1911, p. xlviii, that he had “found the volumes some years ago in an old Boston second-hand book-shop.”); 8. George H. Hart (sold at auction by Anderson Galleries, NY, October 16-19, 1922, item 1040. ABC lists the sale price as $200 — how or why Whitty might have sold the volumes to Hart is unclear); 9. H. Bradley Martin (1906-1988) (The Duane copies were certainly in Martin’s collection by April 1959, when they were included in a exhibit at Yale, see “Quote the Raven,” Yale University Library Gazette, vol. 33, no. 4, April 1959, p. 148-149, items 24 and 26. His collection was sold by Sotheby’s in New York, January 30-31, 1990); 8. Lawrence Fox, private collector (purchased from the H. B. Martin auction)

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Bibliography:

  • Bandy, William T., “Poe, Duane, and Duffee,” University of Mississippi Studies in English 1982, 3:81-95
  • Blanck, Jacob, “Edgar Allan Poe,” Bibliography of American Literature ; volume 7: James Kirke Paulding to Frank Richard Stockton, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983, p. 119-120. (Volume 7 is edited and completed by Virginia L. Smyers and Michael Winship.) (This book is item 16146.)
  • 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)
  • Sotheby’s, The Library of H. Bradley Martin: Highly Important American and Children's Literature, New York, January 30-31, 1990 (the volumes of the Southern Literary Messenger are item 2194

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Editions - Duane copy of Southern Literary Messenger (with changes made about 1839)