Text: Anonymous, “[Review of Tales],” Spectator (London, UK), vol. 18, whole no. 892, August 2, 1845, p. 739, col. 1


[page 739:]

Tales, By Edgar H. [[A.]] Poe.

[This volume contains a dozen tales, mostly tinged with a spirit of diablerie or mystery, not always of a supernatural character, but such as caterers for news delight to head “mysterious occurrence.” To unfold the wonderful, to show that what seems miraculous is amenable to almost mathematical reasoning, is a real delight of Mr Poe; and though he may probably contrive the mystery he is about to unravel, this is not always the case — as in the tale of the murder of Marie Roget; and in all cases he exhibits great analytical skill in seizing upon the points of circumstantial evidence and connecting them together. He has also the faculty essential to the story-teller by “the winter's fire,” who would send the hearers trembling to their beds — despite a profusion of minute circumstances if not of mere words, he holds the attention of the reader and sometimes thrills him. As a novelist, Mr. Poe has little art; depending for his effects chiefly upon the character of his subject, and his skill in working out the chain of proofs to solve the mystery. Both art and effects are of a magazinish kind; and in an American periodical some if not all of the tales appear to have been published. The volume is an importation, though issued in London.]



The original uses the odd formatting choice of enclosing the review in square brackets, as has been emulated here.


[S:0 - SPL, 1845] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Review Poe's Tales (Anonymous, 1845)