Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Anna Blackwell — June 14, 1848 (LTR-270)


Fordham — June 14 — 48

My Dear Miss Blackwell

I fear you have been thinking every thing ill of me, and especially that I lack common courtesy — since your letter of three weeks ago remains unanswered.

The truth is, I have been absent from home rather more than that time. Yours came a day or two after my departure and I have only this moment received it.

And now how am I to answer it? You could not have applied for advice to any one more utterly incompetent to give it. Think, for a moment, how long I have been out of the literary world altogether. I have noinfluence — none. Your poems are, in my honest opinion, admirable — infinitely superior to many — to most of those which have succeeded in America: — but you will find difficulty in getting them published — for Copyright-Law [page 2:] reasons, needless to specify. The Appletons will publish them, leaving you the eventual copyright, but binding you to supply all loss resulting from the publication: — and they will allow you ten per cent on all values effected after all expences are paid — so long as they continue to publish the book. No publisher will make better terms with you than these — and even these will be more advantageous to you than printing on your own account.

If there is any service I can render you, critically or otherwise, after issue of your book or before, command me without scruple[.]

I would be gratified if you would reply to this note. How happens it that you have flown away to Providence? or is this a Providential escape? Do you know Mrs Whitman? I feel deep interest in her poetry and character. I have never seen her — but once. Anne Lynch, however, told me many things about the romance [page 3:] of her character which singularly interested me and excited my curiosity. Her poetry is, beyond question, poetry — instinct with genius. Can you not tell me something about her — any thing — every thing you know — and keep my secret — that is to say let no one know that I have asked you to do so? May Itrust you? I can — and will.

Believe me truly your friend
Edgar A. Poe

Miss Anna Blackwell

P.S. Perhaps it would be advisable for you to defer your volume until after issue of “The Painters of America” — so as to take advantage of any impressions which may be made by your “Legend of the Waterfall” — but I am talking nonsense — you will do this of course.

I have no doubt whatever of the literary success of your book.





[S:0 - MS, 1848] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to A. Blackwell (LTR270/RCL712)