Text: Burton R. Pollin, “The Broadway Journal: Notes (June 1845),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. IV: Broadway Journal (Annotations) (1986), pp. 103-119 (This material is protected by copyright)


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 103, continued:]

136/19} Democratic Review, 5/45, “On Writing for the Magazines,” 16.455-60, by Evert A. Duyckinck.

137/4-5} This typical view is developed in his essay on Willis; see 17/12-36nn and also reprint in M 220.

137/7} See “Magazine Prison-House” in 2/15 BJ (in TOM, 1205-10; note his “Preface”); also 24/51-60 [facsimile text].

137/12} Poe was then developing this view in the EM as well as the BJ. See MM 143 and 182, based on cols. there. [page 104:]

137/24} T. B. Macaulay’s 7/37 Edinburgh Review notice of Basil Montagu’s Works of Francis Bacon was gathered into the Critical and Misc. Essays of Macaulay which Poe reviewed in the 6/41 Graham’s, q.v. in CS 11. For other, less favorable comments on Macaulay see Br. Index.

137/27} This is Poe’s coinage.

137/37} For Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wm. Gilmore Simms, and Nathaniel P. Willis see Index of this vol. and of Br.

137/45} Poe’s original 1836 version of this essay laid no stress on the capacity “to construct“ — now become his major critical tenet.

137/52} The name probably suggested to Poe his derisive parody “Snook Farm Phalanx” for “Brook Farm” in the 12/13 BJ (see 338 below).

137/55} This rev. originally appeared in the 10/36 SLM, 2.727-30. Poe provided a new Intro. (paras. 1-4) to replace the original one (paras. 1-2). He used the earlier piece with no changes beyond occasional minor verbal ones, a few of which are annotated below, new para. indentations, and, in the final para., the omission of the last sentence.

In 1836 he was reviewing a reprint pirated by Carey, Lea and Blanchard, Phila., under the title Peter Snook, a Tale of the City; Follow your Nose; and other Strange Tales. By the Author of ‘Chartley,’ the ‘Invisible Gentleman,’ &c. &c. (1836). This must have been drawn from the 1834 London reprint of the 1831 The Old Maiden’s Talisman and other Strange Tales (Bull and Churton) in 3 vols. (In the Am. Mag., 5/1836, is an announcement of Peter Snook and other strange tales, 2 vols., surely the same as that above, as appears from the LC catalogue). “Peter Snook: a tale of the city” is the longest, occupying 2.157-296 and 3.3-146. The author, James Forbes Dalton, is unmentioned in the London and American vols. and, probably for that reason, by Poe, who calls him simply the author of “Chartley” and of “The Invisible Gentleman“ — said to be “exceedingly popular, indeed, unrivalled save by Boz and a few others. Poe even implies that he is Dickens himself; by 1845, he had dropped this notion. Dalton has managed to escape every major history or dictionary of British literature and even the DNB, but he still retained Poe’s favor after ten years as this long reprint shows. Poe’s lack of [page 105:] information about the reprint of the original rev. and a certain vagueness in the whole Intro. led L.G. Clark of the Knickerbocker for July to condemn Peter Snook “as an article from an old English Magazine” which the editor “lauds without stint.” (See 169/31-40 [facsimile text] for Poe’s comment.) Collations for cited passages below are being made from one of the very few copies extant in the USA, the British 3 vol. 1834 edition; borrowed from the Midwest — a scarcity which shows the great decline of this “Magazinist” in popularity.

137/56 ff.) This section is on pp. 161-63.

137/59} Here and on the following pages are the loci of citations (in Poe) in the 1834 London ed.: 59:161; 61;162; 65;163; p. 138/52:259; 138/62:261; 64:263; p. 139/13:264; 18-48:269-73; 139/73-140/45:281-84; 141/14-18: vol. 3, 61; 45-57:75-76; 142/626:90.

138/47-58} On p. 259.

138/59-66 + 139/1-3) On pp. 261, 263.

139/8-17} On p. 264.

139/19-47} On pp. 269-73.

139/25} waiting / standing

139/34-35} Here a page and a half, deleted, contains inquiry and answer about Margate and Clarinda.

139/35-40} Some of the “punny” names for business firms and balance sheet details in two of Poe’s tales may have been suggested by such passages in Dalton’s work: “The Business Man” in the 2/40 BGM. TOM, 484-85 and “Diddling”: TOM, 879.

139/55} The separation into two words, “ware house“, is not authorized in the OED save that two 16th century instances are spelled thus. It is left uncorrected in the text.

139/73 + 140/1-45} On pp. 281-84.

141/14-18} Vol. 3, p. 61. 141/45-57) On pp. 75-76. [page 106:]

141/52} from business / from my business

142/6-27} On p. 90.

142/45} SLM, 2.730: Poe first wrote “in petio“ — his customary error for “in brief” (which in Italian means “in the chest” or “in secret, in reserve”), by confusion with the French “petit,” one imagines (see Letters, 148, TOM 365/V 870/9 1017/29).

143/19} Originally Poe printed “each in their own way.”

143/26} The last sentence of the 1836 rev. is omitted. It reads: “We will venture to assert that no painter, who deserves to be called so, will read ‘Peter Snook’ without assenting to what we say, and without a perfect consciousness that the principal rules of the plastic arts, founded as they surely are in a true perception of the beautiful, will apply in their fullest force to every species of literary composition.”

144/1-7} This new heading and the concept of dividing brief notices from longer revs. must have been a joint idea of Briggs and Poe, which prevailed for the rest of vol. I before Poe’s assumption of complete control in vol. 2. Hence we find the new classification plus the old “REVIEWS” as follows: 6/14 (1.379 and 376 ff.); 6/21 (1.395 and 392 ff.); 6/28 (1.410, under “BOOKS LATELY RECEIVED” and 408 ff.). In vol. 2 the distinction of short notices and long revs. is dropped and the new department becomes “CRITICAL NOTICES” on 7/12 (2.7 ff.) and for the rest of the vol. The new title reflects Poe’s views of what a rev. should be, despite the curt treatment given to most of the books noticed.

144/8-14} This large work by William Bolles (1800-83) apparently had wide circulation for the decade, came out in an abridgment (New London, 1846 and Phila., 1846), and was reprinted in 1848. Poe’s views changed, q.v. in the rev. on p. 148. The 1845 ed. had 944 p.

144/33-41} This is one of the many competitors of the reprint journals, often devoted to the latest British novel, such as the New World. It was pub. by Lloyd Smith, vol. I comprising the nos. of 1-6/45. “The Eventful Life of a Soldier” by Joseph Davidson is printed in triple columns, pp. 348-92. In style, this is [page 107:] the only one of the notices that does not sound like Poe’s ordinary reviewing approach (e.g. “matter given very liberal,” “very beautiful,” and “only object”), but it seems unlikely for Briggs to be responsible for one out of the entire number. Hence it is here included.

144/42-51} This Manual of 211 + xii p. was published in 1829 by H. J. Bigelow (1818-90), who had just been elected president of the Boylston Medical Society, a group of Harvard medical students. The assertion about Strabismus is verified in Wm. Bigelow’s Memoir of H. J. Bigelow (Boston, 1900), p. 29. Poe undoubtedly derived this “fact” from the Intro. (no copy has been available to me for verification).

144/52-58} Article (d) concerns a reprint of a 40-page pamphlet, dating from 1841. The two anonyms ending Poe’s list are “G. T.” and “S. E. J.” on 31-33 and 37-40. Poe was fond of Rejected Addresses by Horatius Smith and his brother (q.v. in Pollin, “Figs, Bells, Poe, and Horace Smith,” Poe Newsletter, 6/1970, 3.8-10) and in general liked satirical verse and parodies (see Br., articles under Laughton Osborn).

144/59-60} The Bustle; a Philosophical and Moral Poem, by the Most Extraordinary Man of the Age; Boston: Bela Marsh, no. 25 Cornhill, 1845, 82 p.

145/1-3} For Poe’s derision of the bustle in America, see the end of “Scheherazade” (TOM, 1169); cf. also the first woodcut in the BJ, 1.8 (used as my first illustration, on p. 1). The accompanying text is not by Poe, but it well states the case against such deforming dress. The only copy of the book that I managed to consult (in the Harvard library) does not support Poe’s charge of poor verse, but the frankness was “gross indecency” for the time — perhaps accounting for its disappearance from public libraries. The Preface explains that Eve kept sexual love (lust) alive in Adam by subtlety of dress. She extended the fig concealment to a sort of kilt and then she died. Examples of the text are these: St. 37, p. 23, “And drawn from her high destiny by lust; — / Seduced her husband, and returned to dust.”; St. 50, p. 30, (They always used dress) “to recruit / Their sexual influence.”; St. 60, p. 35, (re bodice) “The very chinks / Twixt certain parts, are easily espied.”; St. 93, p. 51, (The bustle) “was seen / More . . . to ape / The natural parts of woman; till between / Enormous buttocks of enchanting shape, / Appeared, like life itself, a deep ravine!”; St. 103, p. 56, “Why do [page 108:] you make your rump appear so furious — / So meretricious? and seem so salacious?”; St. 114, p. 62, (She is) “a living sexual volcano.”

145/4-10} This book, of 226 p. (1845), is by the “dictionary man” of p. 144.

145/12-19} This lurid, highly satirical exposé of Phila. (494 p,) by his old friend Lippard (1822-54) was never reviewed in the BJ despite the asterisk. For their close relations see Letters, 242 43, 455-56, and Pollin, PS, 1974, 7.22-23. For Darley and Poe see my Index. Darley’s frontispiece consists of two separate drawings, the top, a man with a lamp looking into an open grave, the bottom, a man floating in a coffin on some fairly large body of water.

145/20-22} This must be one of the many crude, seamy imitations of Eugene Sue’s inordinately popular Mysteries of Paris that poured from the press in cheap newsprint, leaving no trace today.

145/23-28} This 1845 novel of 108 p. has disappeared from available library collections. The terms used and the question at the end (see M 52, para. 1 for a similar instance) bespeak Poe. He did not “recur to it” afterwards.

145/29-52} This poem of 1845, of 71 p., has become extremely rare (Harvard copy used). Poe’s transcription of the conclusion is accurate. It supports his views of the adverse effect of an obvious, overriding “message” as he explains in his diatribes against Longfellow.

145/53-61} It behooved Poe to support the Wiley and Putnam’s Library (his 1845 books being published also by W. and P.) with a strong commendation, although no further rev. appeared. These two vols. were 768 + xiv and 242 + vii pages. The author, although known as Eliot W. (1810-52), was Bartholomew Elliot George Warburton, miscellaneous Irish writer and traveler; the 1845 Crescent related his 1843 Eastern tour. Typical of the response was a glowing rev. in the Dublin University Mag., 1/45, 25.116-26.

146/1-5} This is included as an example of the types of reasons for eliminating entries from the canon, although Hull says, “Poe, I think, is the author.” In language it has the [page 109:] rhetorical exaggeration of Briggs: “of necessity” and “every thinking person must read”; “pretending to acquirement can remain quietly in ignorance of what is written” and “Most sincerely do we rejoice“ — all foul flourishes to Poe! In content Poe would repudiate such regard for Brougham and for Voltaire (“the most powerful who ever existed“!). Of this, there is no doubt, but less extreme instances where doubt should exist occur in this section of the journal, where Poe and Briggs were sharing management, perhaps uneasily.

146/6-17} The style and information of the last sentence cause an ascription of this to Poe. The book, of xxii + 33-355 p., is a selection of essays from Discours sur Quelques Sujets Religieux and from Nouveau Discours by Alexandre Vinet (17971847), Swiss litterateur and theologian, who taught at Basel, with great repute, and wrote prolifically on behalf of liberty of conscience and separation of church and state. Poe alludes to Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), teacher of theology and chemistry, who wrote numerous treatises on the first, and on philosophy et al.

146/20-28} No traces of the first two have been found in lists and libraries consulted. The Comic English Grammar (1845) is a 144 p. reprint of an 1840 work by Percival Leigh, illustrated by John Leech, who also did work for Punch and was to illustrate Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures in 1846 (see 109 above). In his 1/42 Graham’s rev. of Stanley Thorn (at the end), Poe sets Leech above Cruikshank as an illustrator (see H 11.15), but acknowledges the latter’s greater reputation. It was Poe’s contention that all previous writers on grammar were misleading, with Lindley Murray as perpetuating ancient errors (see “Rationale of Verse,” para. 5). For this school textbook writer (1745-1826) see FS 33c. Poe seems a bit confused about the role of the illustrator as “author.” The fault in “best work of the two” is exceptional in Poe’s writing — perhaps a typesetter’s gaffe left uncorrected.

146/30-31} Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859) was the second president of the Republic of Texas. He also wrote poetry in the Byronic fashion (DAB).

146/32-35} “The Oregon Question” (523-33) by David Dudley Field (see 56, 80 [facsimile text]); “The Bridal of Pennacook” (537-55) by J. G. Whittier; “Emerson’s Essays” (589-602) “by a disciple”; “How to Purchase Old Italian Paintings” (576-578) by J. [page 110:] T. Headley.

146/36-39} Vol. 12, no. 6, essay on pp. 499-520. For Poe’s many flattering refs. to the mag. and its proprietor, Freeman Hunt, see this Index plus Pollin, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 1974, 16.305-13. For the banker, poet, essayist, and traveler, Henry Cary, see the “Lit.” sketch (H 14.67-68) and M 158. Cary translated this article by Charles Coquelin, in the 7/43 Revue des Deux Mondes.

146/40-49} “Mystery of Iniquity” (551-74) by D. F. Bacon; “American Letters” (575-80) by “Il Secretario” (E. W. Johnson).

146/50-51} Poe adds “daily” and “dispute” for “a dispute.”

146/59-61} George H. Colton (1818-47), author of Tecumseh, glorifying Gen. Harrison, q.v. in “Lit.” sketch (H 15.9).

146/63-64} “Let not the cobbler (criticize) beyond his last” (Pliny on Apelles’ remark about a cobbler critical of shoes in a picture).

147/1-19} This is drawn from the Wiley and Putnam first vol. in the new series, by Horatio Bridge, ed. by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Poe was very fond of the sentimental verse and “romances” of Letitia Landon (1802-38) and probably wrote a rev. of Laman Blanchard’s Life and Literary Remains of L. E. L. for the 8/41 Graham’s. This article helps to establish Poe’s writing that rev. (in H 10.195-96), which is somewhat too gushy for his normal pen. Her inordinate popularity led to a host of rumors about the marriage to Captain George McLean (Governor of the Gold Coast colony), and her death from prussic acid, perhaps from an overdose of her “medicine,” perhaps a suicide, perhaps murder through her husband or a “discarded mistress” (DNB).

147/20} On pp. 137-39.

148/8-14} For data about this and other eds. see 144 [facsimile text].

148/15-18} Poe demonstrated his own need for such a dictionary by citing that of Bolles in a letter to T. H. Chivers of 11/15/45 (Letters, 302) and in his 1846 “Lit.” sketch of Margaret Fuller (15.79), although there it sanctioned a usage that he wished to condemn as “vulgar.” Despite the “need” and the [page 111:] several eds. of the work, it has disappeared from all large libraries in NYC (being consulted in the Harvard U. copy). All the important details and most of the language of this long rev. are borrowed from the Prefatory material of the dictionary, very slightly adapted.

148/18-22} Here and below Poe is borrowing the names cited by Bolles, so that it is scarcely necessary to try to sort out which of many dictionaries of the late eighteenth century were intended. Thomas Sheridan (1719-88) issued A General Dictionary of the English Language (1780). John Walker (1732-1807) projected his “Pronouncing Dictionary” in 1774 but published it in 1791, apparently basing it partly on Sheridan’s.

149/14} While Poe merely seems to affirm the approach and principles of Bolles throughout this rev., it is important to note the conservative position he takes about spelling save for the Noah Webster “thrust” against the “our” ending. This rev. of 1845, a kind of midpoint in Poe’s critical output, might well serve as a guide for a thorough analysis of his spelling habits and practices, not only as author but also as editor. The variants for the tales provided by TOM and Pollin provide materials hitherto discouragingly scattered, and the Ostrom Letters are another large source. Yet there is still no study of Poe’s presentation of the language throughout his two decades of authorship — an analysis much needed. (For a small beginning to two spelling elements of this topic, see Br.’s Intro. “On the Digraph and Dieresis in Poe’s Texts,” pp. xxxvi-xl.) This is one of the few wholly favorable refs. to Dr. Samuel Johnson, who seemed too verbose and oratund to Poe, and who represented the oppressive hand of England on American culture, especially at this period of Poe’s veering toward the “Young America” movement. For numerous refs. see PD, 49 and note his derogatory coinage (actually an abridgment) of Johnsonism (PCW, 30).

149/35} It is important to note Poe’s approval of the sanction of obsolete words, since his own habits in both creative and critical work led to a merger of the old-fashioned and the modern, despite his inconsistent condemnations of style in his revs. Again, one notes no thorough or even partial study of the whole matter, save for the cursory treatment in the Preface to the Booth-Jones Concordance to the poetry (1941). My Poe, Creator of Words (1974; revised edition 1980) and Word Index (1982), virtually a concordance to all the creative prose, furnish [page 112:] much more material for a systematic and thorough study of such matters as his inclusion of rare words: “tantalistical,” “ebon,” “litten,” “hare,” “tintimarre,” “moss-y-mantled,” and “Aidenn” or his new coinages such as “tintinnabulation” and “marginalic.”

149/36-37} This abridgment came out in 1846 (see 144 [facsimile text]).

149/51-57} These are given as follows: Directions to Foreigners (Particularly the French) (pp. 12-14); Rules to be Observed by the Natives of Ireland and Wales, in order to attain a just pronunciation of English. Mostly extracts from Mr. Sheridan’s Works (15).

149/65-68} It is likely that this small item was inserted by Poe, friend of William Gilmore Simms, whose “Magazine” paralleled the BJ, The Southern and Western Monthly Magazine and Review, 1-12/45, in its lifespan and its being almost totally written by the ed. himself. The May issue attacked the North American Review for provincialism. Poe’s data are somewhat confused here, suggesting that he did not see the article (pp. 297311) itself. Simms, the author, complains that the North American Review has recently issued a circular appealing for funds to continue the journal, maintaining that for nearly 30 years it has “represented” the taste, science, and literature of America. In rejoinder Simms avers it has forwarded the interests solely of New England, excluded Southerners, and ignored the greater cultural importance of NY. Abroad it is given far too much credit, alas. The sentiments are generally those expressed by Poe in his frequent attacks.

The source of Poe’s information must have been Simms or Mathews, whose book Poe was about to rev. (193-95). See also Briggs’ article, “The North and South,” citing the North American Review in Simms’ Magazine (1.337-39, 5/31/45).

150/1-6} This 1745 reprint has 176 p. Mrs. Catherine Grace Frances (Moody) Gore (1799-1861) pub. over 70 works of fiction, drama, and song lyrics over her long career as author, very popular in her day and parodied as such by Thackeray. Her genre is accurately given by Poe who clearly knew her Cecil, of which he satirically speaks for its borrowed learning in “Thou Art the Man” (TOM, 1051). Benjamin Disraeli and Bulwer Lytton, authors of the two novels mentioned, have worn much better, to this day: Pelham; or the adventures of a gentleman (L., 1828; 3 vols.); Vivian Grey (L., 1826; 5 vols.). [page 113:]

150/26} The “well-known scholar and litterateur,” on the previous page, is specified in the above ref. as William Beckford, author of Vathek, an opinion that Poe borrowed from R. H. Horne’s New Spirit of the Age, q.v. in TOM, 1060 n10.

150/27} Robert Southey’s Doctor was to Poe still an anonymous work, stuffed with curious learning and whimsical sallies, which he reviewed in the 6/36 SLM and used for SM 2, about which see SM 2a, e, f, for full discussion. For Poe and Southey, see Pollin, Wordsworth Circle, 1976, 7.101-106. Hull indicates here echoes of a passage that Poe had used three times before, in reviewing The Doctor (SLM, 7/36), Canons of Good Breeding (Burton’s, 11/39), and Guy Fawkes (Graham’s, 11/41).

150/33} Poe uses here a characteristic device which Hull labels “the title trick,” a means of economizing time and including the maximum number of books noticed in an issue. The method becomes habitual in the second vol., when Poe is sole ed. and reviewer.

150/33-44} For earlier announcements (and spelling correction) see 92/20-22.

150/46} Am. ed. published 1845, 111 p. in double columns. Trans. by Samuel Spring. Giafar Al Barmeki, a tale of the court of Haroun al Raschid (NY, 1836, 2 vol.), is sometimes ascribed to Gardiner Spring, a prominent NY minister.

150/55} Samuel Spring (1746-1819) was a Congregationalist minister, prominent in the foreign missionary movement and a founder of Andover Theological Seminary.

151/1-11} Mordecai Noah (1785-1851), lawyer, playwright, journalist, U.S. Consul to Tunis (1813-15), ed. of National Advocate, Enquirer, Evening Star, and the NY Sunday Times, invariably elicited friendly comments from Poe, as in both sets of “Autography” (H 15.110-11, 207) and even in BJ 11/1/45 below when reprinting the Lyceum report of the adversary of the Boston Transcript (p. 297 [facsimile text]). Poe had worked on his Times in 4/1844 (Poems, 332) which had immediately reprinted “The Balloon Hoax” (TOM 554). There is reason to believe that he had contributed ideas to Pin 23 and Pym (Note for 5A). Unfortunately there is no file of the Times extant, only a fragment of one issue; this source cannot be traced. Poe’s love of [page 113:] flowers is demonstrated clearly in several sketches, such as “Eleonora,” “Domain of Arnheim,” and “Landor’s Cottage,” and in such poems as “To Helen” (of 1848-49) and “For Annie.”

151/12-19} The large size, lavish format, and generous emolument of this book must have augmented Poe’s resentment against Longfellow, q.v. in S. Moss, PLB, 184, and Pollin, Mi Q, 1984, 37.475-82. The book was The Poets and Poetry of Europe (Phila., Carey and Hart, 1845), 779 p.

The ornamental title page consists of 17 little scenes of Europe set in a circle around the title, the author and the publisher, signed: G. H. Cushman / J. Warr. There is a second title page, which gives date of publication and a sub-title (“with introductions and biographical notices”) and a quotation from Gray. Some translators to whom Longfellow gives special thanks are John Bowring, trans. Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese; W. Herbert, trans. Icelandic, Danish, Spanish; Louisa Stuart Costello, trans. French; Edgar Taylor, trans. German, French, Spanish; Robert Jamieson, trans. Icelandic, Danish; Charles T. Brooks, trans. German; John Adamson, trans. Portuguese; Benjamin Thorpe, trans. Anglo-Saxon.

151/20-29} Anna Charlotte Lynch (later wife of Vincenzo Botta, scholar and prof. of Italian at NYU) (1815-91), set up an important literary salon that included Poe, Greeley, Margaret Fuller, et al. Poe explains in the “Lit.” sketch (H 15.116-18) that her many poems in journals and annuals did not warrant a vol. in 1845 (but Poems came out in 1849, these two poems being on 93-98). The two poems were later to be reprinted in the 6/20/46 Harbinger, 3.28-29. Poe adapted sentences from this headnote for his sketch of Anne Lynch (15.117) as follows: The “two noble poems . . . should be considered as one, for each is by itself imperfect. In modulation and vigor of rhythm, in dignity and elevation of sentiment, in metaphorical appositeness and accuracy, and in energy of expression, I really do not know where to point out anything American much superior to them,” etc. The rest of his sketch is so effusive as to indicate a more personal involvement, in 1846 — if only in gratitude for her tribute and support — than he usually had with the “literary ladies.” Miss Lynch and her circle of poets are interwoven into Poe’s life intimately and crucially from 1845 (see all the Index refs. in Quinn, Poe, and TOM, Poems), leading me to conjecture that the two poems reprinted by Poe conceal her picture of Poe himself, charged with a cold indifference to the poetess. Poe had done the same with the poetic addresses of Mrs. Osgood, who [page 115:] was a more attractive member of the “circle.” Many of the terms reflect Poe’s works and the themes are intrinsic to his orientation; e.g., “The Ideal” (11.1, 5-6): “A sad sweet dream! It fell upon my soul / Darkening the fountain of my young life’s stream, / It haunts me still and yet I know ‘tis but a dream.” See her letter to Poe (dated by Ostrom as 6/27 in Check List, and given in H 17. 258-59) thanking him for this “notice” and exhorting him to endeavor to rally from the despondency manifested in his recent letter to her (now lost). No one else has drawn this inference, to my knowledge. See also 282/30 for her poem on “The Ivory Christ” and 326 for “Farewell to Ole Bull.”

152/1-5} There is no evidence that this is by Poe rather than by Briggs, save for the Poe-oriented topic, the style of the three short discussion-paras. and the likelihood that Poe had more access to the exchange papers, such as the Charleston Mercury. We note the coinage of “word-spilling” (line 57). Poe was especially sensitive to abusive and florid language; his discussions of these matters and grammatical faults were hallmarks recognized by all readers. Moreover, from his soldiering days (‘27-‘28) at Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, Poe displayed interest in the cultural activities of the city — an interest unlikely in Briggs. Since there is a kind of irony usefully pointed out by the editorial writer here, I assign this to Poe.

152/56-57} The practice of alliteration, usually within limits, as in the two “b’s” and two “w’s” of this sentence, betokens Poe rather than Briggs, whose style is more heavy-handed and whose sentences normally ramble tediously or awkwardly. Poe was also becoming more attached to the city, and would be more likely to defend it against such aspersion, especially in a journal named after its main thoroughfare (see 1/3 BJ, 1.1).

153/1-7} Tayler Lewis (1802-77) was lawyer, educator, Orientalist, and at this time taught Greek at the Univ. of the City of (not in, as Poe gives it) New York. In 1850 he was to shift to Union College, his alma mater. This 1845 book of 378 p. was intended as a college text despite Poe’s final paras.

153/10-11} Lewis makes this point in his first para.

153/14-28} These lines are a paraphrase of the Statement of the Argument, pp. xxi-iii. [page 116:]

153/21-24} This topic is basic to Eureka, as in H 15.210-11, 310-11.

153/29-33} This para. is, almost verbatim, from the first sentence of para. 2 on p. xxi.

154/21-24} The information is from the Statement of Argument, on p. xxii.

154/25-33} Poe synopsizes fairly, with stylistic improvement, the argument of Lewis, pp. xxi to xxiii.

154/35-40} The material here is from the Statement of Argument, p. xxiii.

154/46} By the obsolescent term “converse” Poe seems to mean any interchange of ideas, not merely through oral speech.

154/49} Curiously, the word “Platonian” is given as a substantive for “Platonist” (1569, 1611) but not at all adjectivally.

154/53} It is noteworthy that this harsh generalization by Poe is sidescored by him in the 1848 markings.

154/57-66} These two quotations (with Poe’s small “caps”) come from pp. xii-xiii. Poe himself, in Eureka, which says much about “nebular star-dust,” was accused of “a subtle pantheism” (q.v. in Pollin, “Contemporary Reviews of Eureka,” Am. Transcendental Q., 1975, 26.26-30).

154/67-69} In Eureka Poe carefully notes that John Pringle Nichol — Poe erroneously gives him a terminal “s“ — (1804-59), prof. of astronomy, writer on science, and lecturer in 1848 (just in time to influence Eureka), has been abandoning his “nebular stardust” views (H 16.222-3, 262, 297-98). George Combe (1788-1858), leading spokesman and writer for phrenology, lectured in America (1838-40). Poe knew his Elements of Phrenology (q.v. in M 12b; see also PD, 23). Poe liked essays of Francis Bacon but was becoming ever more dissatisfied with his writings on the methodology of science, most demonstrably at the beginning of Eureka.

155/1} The quotation ending at the top is from p. xii.

155/3-5} Poe cited this sentence by Gottfried Wilhelm von [page 117:] Leibnitz (1646-1716) five times, beginning with 1831 (“Letter to B ——— ”), after taking it from Coleridge, without knowing its original source. He had just learned this from Charles Briggs’ rev. of Mackie’s tr. of J. E. Guhrauer, Life of . . . Leibnitz in the 5/26 BJ (1.328-31). The full account is given in M 161b; see also MM 38, 87, for more on Leibnitz’ role in Poe’s works.

155/6-11} Lewis, Intro., ix-xi, frankly avows one intention to be producing a textbook for college seniors. Clearly Poe was limited to his Intro., despite numerous quotations elsewhere in Greek, frequently incorrect.

155/15} The “modest” book had 128 p.

155/17} The author was Charles Edward Anthon, son of Charles Anthon’s brother, John, who was an educator and numismatist (1823-1883). The mistake, while trivial, proves that although Poe gave the impression of a close acquaintance with this noted scholar, whose letter on biblical Hebrew he exploited repeatedly (see MM 115, 175), he had little or no personal contact with him. Indeed, the length of this rev. of so slight a book also implies an attempt to curry favor with the “wrong father.” See the BJ Index for numerous refs. to Charles Anthon. On the other hand, it is possible that the entire article is ascribable to Briggs, who had less reason to claim any knowledge of Charles Anthon the uncle. Hull believes that the ref, to “the Rev. Dr. Anthon,” being unique with regard to all of Poe’s statements on Charles A., certifies the non-Poe provenance. On the other hand, if it were a mistake by Briggs, about the uncle (as father) and if Poe knew the facts, would he not have corrected the error in proof sheets before it might be ascribed to the wrong one of the “BJ editors“? Also, the interest in palace furnishings (p. 156) and the language of “floating palaces” sound like Poe’s work. I include it with a very firm caveat.

155/39-43} He begins his book with an anecdote about Charlemagne and the founding of Aix-la-Chapelle (pp. 13-21). The mid-point is p. 76.

155/51} Throughout the article the accents over French names are left omitted: Trèves, Liège.

156/4} On p. 78.

156/17-36} This is on pp. 105-106. [page 118:]

156/38} This quotation is on pp. 109-10.

156/43} travelled / traversed

156/69} “thoughts of all”

157/1-13} Hull assigns this and also the next article somewhat tentatively to Poe. The style is not that of Poe: e.g., “by no means as good” where Poe would invariably write “so good” and the lack of a comma after “devotion,” rendering the sentence meaningless at first reading (but this could be poor typesetting and proof-reading), and the ambiguity about a “giant and buffoon” (is this one character or two?). The volume appeared both in London and, probably typeset from the copy sent by ship, in NY (153 p.). Sue’s Mysteries had led to a host of so-called Sue novels, some of them apocryphal, such as Mysteries of Berlin.

157/14-22} Like many juvenile works, this has become impossible to examine over 100 years later, but it is listed in Roorbach. Hull believes that Briggs gave himself the two leading revs. and assigned the other trivialities to Poe, to follow in sequence; hence, meriting little space and probably a most casual glance.

157/23-29} The Wiley and Putnam origin of this work probably required this terse, unthoughtful laudation of the book and author. William Howitt (1792-1879) was early a published author in journals as well as books. He and his wife Mary used their extensive travels as source of many works of description and experience (see 109 for an earlier notice of another work).

157/30-38} Most of this vol. of 1845, of 222 p,, was a reprint in large measure; the first three stories were pub. in 1838 (Harper) under the title Constance Latimer or The Blind Girl. Emma Catherine Embury (1806-63) was a prolific writer of verse, tales, and novels, from childhood. From 1828, as Mrs. Embury, she established a literary salon and was much sought after by journal editors, sometimes serving as a nominal one herself (cf. Mott on her role in Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, 627). She contributed many items, as a kind of assistant ed., to Graham’s during Poe’s editorship (see AL, 1968, 40.164-178). Her sentimental, cliché-ridden, obviously contrived works signally show the claims demanded on Poe’s patience and tact. Her being [page 119:] a “female writer” made the last easier for him.

157/39-47} This is the fifth ed. of a work first pub. in 1831, by the greatly admired writer James Kirke Paulding (1778-1860). Poe had sought his influence with the Harpers for earlier publication of his tales (and also for his Penn magazine venture; see Index to Letters and H 17.31-32; also Quinn, 249-51). This novel, set in upper New York during the French and Indian Wars, was one of his many historical pieces, often deprecating the English and current romantic approaches. The last sentence neatly suggests Poe’s probable view of the work itself.

157/48-55} For rev. see 167 [facsimile text].

157/56-61} This was by Mrs. Elizabeth Caroline Grey (1845), 155 p. Surely Poe’s sentence is ironic.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - BRP4J, 1986] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (June 1845)