Edgar Allan Poe — “An Acrostic”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “An Acrostic” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “[An Acrostic]” — about 1829 — manuscript — (Mabbott text A)  (The manuscript was written by Poe in the album of his cousin, Elizabeth Herring; sold at auction by Libbie & Co. of Boston, February 3-5, 1892, item 1157 for $20 to William Nelson (1847-1914), of Patterson, NJ (presumably from Elizabeth’s family, and not from the collection of Rev. Thomas Raffles, as suggested by the title of the auction); sold by Stan V. Henkles Auctions (Philadelphia, PA) on May 7, 1903, item 960 to William Brooks (it was listed for sale by G. H. Richmond in 1904 in a catalog of Autograph Letters, Broadsides, MSS., etc, item 224 1/23, for $250, with the strange item number perhaps indicating that it was a late insertion and perhaps being offered on consignment, which would have been interrupted by Richmond’s sudden death in 1904); sold again at auction, by Anderson Auction Co. (New York, NY) on May 19, 1905, as item 366 for $110. It was later sold from the collection of John Henry Grundlach (1861-1926), a real estate developer in St. Louis, by American Art Association Galleries (New York, NY), January 6, 1927, for $1,850. It was purchased by the Rosenbach company. Both Mabott and Stovall note the poem as having been in the collection of H. Bradley Martin, but it does not appear in the auction catalog for the sale of his library, and is currently unlocated.)



  • “[An Acrostic]” — May 5, 1903 — Henkels Auction Catalog (lot 960, with only the first two lines printed)  (the owner was William Nelson of Paterson, NJ) (The entry states: “The poem is written on a stained and slightly charred leaf that has evidently been cut out of an ‘Autograph Album.‘ It is thoroughly Poe-esque in its delicate imagery, it [[in]] classic grace, and quaint turns of expression. It is signed ‘E. A. P.’ The handwriting, though apparently of an early period, approximates that of his later years.” The manuscript was sold for $75.00.)
  • “[An Acrostic]” — May 9, 1903 — New York Herald
  • “[An Acrostic]” — May 19, 1905 — Anderson Auction Catalog (lot 366, with complete text printed)  (the owner is not specified, and the sale contains material “mostly from private sources and including some choice items from the collection of Evert Jansen Wendell.” (The entry states: “ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT OF AN UNPUBLISHED POEM OF EDGAR ALLAN POE. Mounted on silk and inlaid on a sheet of Japan vellum paper bound up with other blank sheets in a small folio volume, in crimson crushed levant, lettered in gilt, bands of gilt tooling, gilt edges, by BRADSTREETS. On an opposite sheet of the vellum the poem has been printed just as written. The MS. of the poem has been a little browned by fire, and some writing in another hand on the reverse of the sheet shows through. The poem is on nine lines and signed ‘E. A. P.’ ”)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • “From an Album” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co (p. 141, and p. 285)
  • “An Acrostic” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (p. 136, and p. 297)  (Campbell notes that the manuscript was then in the collection of George H. Richmond, of New York City. There was a well-known rare book dealer in New York named George H. Richmond, who was born in 1849 and died on Nov. 17, 1904. He had two sons, one of whom may also have been named George H. Richmond.)
  • “An Acrostic” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (p. 131, and p. 291)
  • An Acrostic” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe - vol. I: Poems, ed. Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:149-150)
  • “An Acrostic” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (p. 61) (reprints the text from Whitty, 1911)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • None.



  • Anonymous, “High Prices Paid for Poe Manuscripts,” Black Diamond Express Monthly (Lehigh Valley Railroad), vol. VII, no. 6, June 1903, pp. 17-18
  • 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 (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - An Acrostic