Standard Reference Works about Edgar Allan Poe


Some of the following items are, unfortunately, no longer in print. Most should be available at any good college or university library, and some are provided as digital versions on this website. None of these items are available for purchase through the Poe Society. To find items that are still in print, please check with your local bookstore.

General Studies and Essay Collections

There are many books that include material about Poe, but the items listed below have Poe as a primary focus and serve the purpose of general research about Poe's life and writings.

  • Carlson, Eric W., ed., A Companion to Poe Studies, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996. (A useful collection of 25 original essays by leading Poe scholars, commenting on Poe’s life, works, art, thoughts and significance in world literature.)
  • Deas, Michael J., The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe; Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1989. (Issued in both hard and paper back editions, but both long out of print.)
  • Esplin, Emron and Margarida Vale de Gato, eds., Anthologizing Poe, Bethlehem, PA: Leigh University Press, 2020. (A useful survey of how Poe has been published in the form of collections and anthologies.)
  • Esplin, Emron and Margarida Vale de Gato, eds., Translated Poe, Bethlehem, PA: Leigh University Press, 2014. (A useful survey of how Poe has been received and translated for readers in other countries.)
  • Kennedy, J. Gerald and Scott Peeples, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Oxford Universtiy Press, 2019. (A broad collection of 45 original essays by leading Poe scholars, commenting on Poe’s life, works, art, thoughts and significance in world literarture.)
  • Phillips, Philip Edward, ed., Poe and Place, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. (Published as part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies series, this collection of essays serves as useful survey of Poe in relation to places where he lived and worked, as well as some places merely of his imagination.)

Scholarly Editions and Collections of Poe's Writings

No absolutely complete edition of Poe's writings has ever been assembled, in part because so much of his editorial material and criticism was unsigned. The most complete attempt is actually embodied by this website, as The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Several printed editions have the advantage of annotations and introductory information. For those listed below with links, the full texts of those editions are available on this website. A more extensive listing of editions is also available.

  • Harrison, James A[lbert]., ed, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 17 vols, New York: T. Crowell, 1902. (Reprinted by New York: AMS Press, 1965.) (This edition is far from complete, but contains the majority of Poe’s most significant writings. It also contains several items that have since been identified as not being by Poe.)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed, The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe; (Vols 1 - Poems, Vols 2 & 3 - Tales and Sketches) Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Vol. 1 - 1969 (Second printing 1979), Vols 2-3 - 1978 (Second printing 1979). (This is the definitive collection of Poe’s works, continued by Burton Pollin. All three volumes were reissued in paperback by the University of Illinois Press in 2000.)
  • Ostrom, John Ward, Burton R. Pollin and Jeffrey A. Savoye, eds., The Collected Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (third edition), New York: Gordian Press, 2008; 2 vols. (Originally The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. John Ward Ostrom; 2 Vols. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1948. Reprinted with a supplement, New York: Gordian Press, 1966.) (The definitive collection of Poe’s letters. The third edition is heavily revised, and features an exhaustive subject index.)
  • Pollin, Burton R., ed., The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 - The Imaginary Voyages: Pym, Hans Pfaall, Julius Rodman; Vol 2 - The Brevities: Pinakidia, Marginalia and Other Works; Vol 3 - The Broadway Journal, Non-fictional Prose, Part I: Text; Vol 4 - The Broadway Journal, Non-fictional Prose, Part II: Annotations; Vol 5 - Writings in the Southern Literary Messenger), Vol 1 - Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981, reprinted by Goridan Press. Vol 2-5 - New York: Gordian Press, 1985, 1986 and 1997.
  • Quinn, Patrick F., ed., Poetry and Tales, New York: The Library of America, 1978. (Not absolutely complete, but a very good basic collection. There are some errors in the text.)
  • Thompson, G. Richard, ed., Essays and Reviews, New York: The Library of America, 1984. (A good basic collection.)


There have been many biographies published about Poe, all with their own virtues, flaws and perspective. For a general discussion of the difficulties in dealing with Poe's life see “Poe's Problematic Biography.”

  • Quinn, A. Hobson, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography; New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1941 (Reprinted - New York: Cooper Square, 1969 and again, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.) (In spite of decades of careful scholarship, this is still the most useful, reliable and fair biography of Poe. The 1998 reprint was issued in paperback.)
  • Silverman, Kenneth, Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance; New York, 1991. (Although this interesting biography is quite popular, it has been much derided in academic Poe circles. It has much to offer, but suffers badly from a deep bias against Poe, a silly preoccupation with discredited psycho-analytical approaches, a convenient over-simplification of the subject matter and an inadequate identification in the text of its rather selective sources. Read it if you must, but take what it offers with large doses of skepticism. The footnoting style is particularly annoying.)
  • Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: a Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 - 1849 ; Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1987. (Although not strictly a biography, the book provides notes about Poe’s life arranged in chronological order. An excellent and virtually exhaustive resource, essential for any Poe research. Available in both hard and paper back editions, although long out of print. Portions of The Poe Log evolved from Dwight Thomas's 1978 doctoral disseration on Poe in Philadelphia, although the earlier work has generally superior capsule biographies of persons mentioned in the text.)
  • Woodberry, George E. and Edmund Clarence Stedman, eds., The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, 10 vols, Chicago, 1894-1896.

Bibliographies and Concordances

Attempting a complete bibliography of everything written about Poe would perhaps be even more daunting. The resources listed below were printed in book form, and may be useful even if they may also be somewhat dated. The concordances that are included in this list with links have the added advantage of linking directly to the relevant pages in the editions to which they are keyed. In some cases, this may prove more useful than a general search.

  • Canny, James R. and Charles F. Heartman, A Bibliography of the First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe; Hattiesburg, Miss.: The Book Farm, 1943 (Reprinted, Millwood, New York: Kraus Reprint Co., and also by others) (The best, though by no means definitive, compilation of information on Poe first printings and early reprints.)
  • Dameron, J. Lasley and Irby B. Cauthen, Jr., Edgar Allan Poe: A Bibliography of Criticism, 1827 - 1967; Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia (for The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia), 1974. (This bibliography has been continued in the publication Poe Studies.)
  • Dameron, J. Lasley and Louis Charles Stagg, An Index to Poe's Critical Vocabulary, Hartford, CT: Transcendental Books, 1966. (This index is keyed to the Harrison volumes)
  • Hull, William Doyle II, A Canon of the Critical Works of Edgar Allan Poe, with a Study of Poe as Editor and Reviewer (1941, dissertation) (Although never officially published, this disseration is the most comprehensive attempt to evaluate Poe’s authorship of criticial reviews, most of which were printed without attribution during his lifetime. Mabbott accepted many of Hull’s conclusions, although he disagreed with some. For a few items, additional external evidence has emerged to assign or unassign Poe as the unsigned author.)
  • Wiley, Elizabeth, Concordance of the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, Selingsgrove: Susequehanna University Press, 1989 (includes all of the poetry, keyed to the Mabbott edition)
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Place Names in Poe's Creative Writings,” Poe Studies, December 1973, vol. VI, no. 2, pp. 43-48. (This index is keyed to the Harrison volumes)
  • Pollin, Burton R., Word Index to Poe’s Fiction, New York: Gordian Press, 1982 (includes the two volumes of Tales and Sketches edited by T. O. Mabbott and the volume of Imaginary Voyages edited by B. R. Pollin)


Since the mid-19th century, there have been many journals and periodicals that contain material about Poe, often material of great importance. The following journals contain an unusual amonunt of such material. Many of these journals are available online, in digital form. Although online access generally requires an active paid account, many libraries have such accounts and make them available to currently registered faculty and students. Some also make them available on a more limited basis to guests and visitors. In particular libraries from colleges and universities may provide better access, although such access may vary within each institution.

  • American Literature, Duke University Press. Vols. 1- . (1929 - present.) Although it covers a broad swath of subjects related to American literature in general, it has often printed articles and reviews that focus on Poe specifically. The very first issue (vol. 1, no. 1, March 1929) included a review by Killis Campbell of the Selected Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe edited by Thomas Ollive Mabbott. The second issue (vol. 1, no. 2, May 1929) included the first article specifically about Poe: “Five Sources of Edgar Allan Poe's ‘Pinakidia’,” by Earl Leslie Griggs.
  • The Edgar Allan Poe Review, Poe Studies Association. Vols. 1- . (2000 - present.) This journal is one of two scholarly periodicals dedicated to study of Edgar Allan Poe and his works. Each volume is usually divided into two issues, one in the Spring and the other in the Fall of each year.)
  • Poe Studies, Pullman, Washington 99164-5910: Washington State University Press, Cooper Publications Building, Washington State University. Vols 1- . (1967 - present.) This journal is the second, but older, scholarly periodical dedicated to study of Edgar Allan Poe and his works. Issued rather erratically, originally intended to be twice yearly, but with a number of double volumes, comprising a full year. It is currently published as one annual issue. Older issues, from 1967-1987, are available online from a special arrangement with the Poe Society of Baltimore.)
  • Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA), Modern Language Association. Vols. 1- . (1889 - present.) The MLA was founded in December 1883. As noted on its website, the MLA “ promotes the study and teaching of languages and literatures both nationally and abroad.” In its early years, it published two journals: Transactions of the Modern Language Assocation (1884) and Proceedings of the Modern Language Assocation (1884-1885). Both of these journals were combined as Transactions and Proceedings of the Modern Language Assocation (1886-1887), and superceded by the Publications of the Modern Language Association, begining in 1889 and as volume 4. The final form of the journal has long been known by the abbreviated title of PMLA. None of the earlier forms contain any promient material related to Poe. The first article in this journal to feature Poe was “Notes on the Influence of E. T. A. Hoffmann upon Edgar Allan Poe” By Professor Gustav Gruener, in the issue for vol. 19, no. 1, March 1904. At some point, the numbering of volumes was altered to align with calendar years, with 4 issues a year, January, March, May and October.


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