The Collected Letters of the Edgar Allan Poe


John Ward Ostrom (1903-1993) was a professor of English at Wittenberg College, in Springfield, OH.

The Letters of the Edgar Allan Poe, first edition (edited by J. W. Ostrom) (1948)

   • Volume I: 1824-1845 (plus prefatory material)
   • Volume II: 1846-1849 (plus bibliographical material, subject index and check list of correspodence)

Conveniently, the pagination of the first edition is retained in the second, with additional material appended to the end of volume 2.

The Letters of the Edgar Allan Poe, second edition (edited by J. W. Ostrom) (1966)

   • Volume I: 1824-1845 (plus prefatory material)
   • Volume II: 1846-1849 (plus bibliographical material, subject index, check list of correspodence and supplement)

Although a supplement was added to the 1966 edition, the subject index was not updated to account for this new material.

The Collected Letters of the Edgar Allan Poe, third edition (edited by J. W. Ostrom, B. R. Pollin and J. A. Savoye) (2008)

   • Volume I:  
   • Volume II:  



Bibliographic Data:



A Chronology of Printings and Reprintings:

  • Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA)
    • 1948 - 2 volumes (bound in red cloth, and in a box)
  • Gordian Press (New York)
    • 1966 - 2 volumes, revised (reprint of 2 volumes of 1948, plus a supplement appended to the volume 2)
    • 2008 - 2 volumes, expanded, revised and corrected (bound in maroom cloth, in an illustrated box) (a substantial reworking of the earlier editions, making many corrections and improvements, and greatly expanding the number of letter texts and the checklist of correspondence)


Census of Copies:

There are so many surviving copies of these volumes that a listing is impractical and unnecessary. The most important copy of the 1948 edition is probably the one owned by Thomas Ollie Mabbott, with numerous notations in the margins. (This copy is now part of the Mabbott Collection at the University of Iowa.) Another notable copy is the one which belonged to William H. Koester, inscribed by Ostrom and with the letters belonging to Koester marked. (This set is in a private collection.)


All material in this edition is protected by copyright, exclusively held by Gordian Press. Permission has been obtained by the Poe Society of Baltimore from the copyright holder to provide this electronic edition for academic and research purposes only. The Poe Society of Baltimore asks all users of this material to respect these copyrights, and not to exceed what would typically be considered as fair use (generally interpreted as selective quotations and/or paraphrasing of only a small percentage of the total material, and with the appropriate attribution and citation).

Although Poe’s writings are essentially in the public domain, the texts presented here embody often painstaking editorial work by Dr. Ostrom, and that editorial work is protected by copyright. The introductory material, descriptions, and the apparatus of texts and notes are Ostrom’s original work, and are even more clearly subject to copyright.

The text for this electronic version of the book was taken from an original printed form, revised for XHTML/CSS and to follow our own formatting preferences. Pagination of the original edition has been included.



  • 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. (Volume 7 is edited and completed by Virginia L. Smyers and Michael Winship.)
  • Pearson, Norman Holmes, “Poe in His Letters,” The Yale Review, vol. XXXVIII, no. 3, March 1949, pp. 568-569. (A review of the 1948 edition.)



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