Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Frederick W. Thomas — about March 3-17, 1849 (LTR-307b)


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I have represented ——— [[Thomas Dunn English (?)]] to you as merely an ambitious simpleton, anxious to get into society with the reputation of conducting a magazine which somebody behind the curtain always prevents him from quite damning with his stupidity; he is a knave and a beast. I cannot write any more for the Milliner’s Book, where T —— n [[Tuckerman]] prints his feeble and very quietly made dilutions of other people’s reviews; and you know that ——— [[The Literary World ]] can afford to pay but little, though I am glad to do anything for a good fellow like ——— [[Evert A. Duyckinck (?)]]. In this emergency I sell articles to the vulgar and trashy ———————— [[The Flag of Our Union (Boston)]], for $5 a piece. I enclose my last, cut out, lest you should see by my sending the paper in what company I am forced to appear.


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Notes:

Griswold reprints this fragment of a letter in his infamous Memoir (1850, III, p. xxix and 1853, I, p. xlv), identifying it only as to “a friend.” Poe had recently re-established a connection with his old friend Thomas, and a large number of letters between these two passed to Griswold after Poe’s death. A followup for this letter may be Poe’s letter to Duyckinck of March 8, 1849, in which he thanks Duyckinck for reprinting “Ulalume” and offers to sell “Von Kemplen’s Discovery” to The Literary World for $10, or “whatever you think you can afford,” rather than getting $15 from The Flag of Our Union, where he fears that “it will be quite thrown away.” Poe made similar statements about The Flag of Our Union to N. P. Willis in a letter of April 20, 1849, asking Willis to reprint “For Annie.” Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813-1871) rejected the tale “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which Poe had submitted to The Boston Miscellany in 1842. As noted in the review of Poe’s Tales from The Aristidean (October 1845), Tuckerman commented that “If Mr. Poe would condescend to furnish more quiet articles, he would be a most desirable correspondent.” The article continues, “Poe rejoined, that Tuckerman was the King of the Quietists, and in three months would give a quietus to the ‘Miscellany.’ The author was mistaken in time — it only took two months to finish the work.” Poe and T. D. English had been friends and associates in 1845, but by early 1846 were unusually bitter enemies. Poe commented on English’s “ignorance” and that he edited The Aristidean “with the aid of numerous collaborators” in “The Literati of New York City” in Godey’s Lady’s Book for July 1846. Poe was even more harsh in the revised version of this article, which appeared in Griswold’s edition of Poe’s works in 1850.


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[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to F. W. Thomas (LTR307b/RCL778b)