Text: Freeman Hunt, [Review of Poe's Tales], Hunt's Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review (New York, NY), vol. 13, no. 2, August 1845, p. 205


[page 205:]

1. — Library of American Works. No. 1. — Journal of an African Cruiser. Edited by NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE. — No. 2. — Tales. By EDGAR A. POE. — No. 3. — Letters from Italy. By J. T. Headley. New York: Wiley & Putnam.

The publishers who issued the first number of their “Library of Choice Reading,” composed of the productions of foreign writers, have commenced a new series with no less good taste, by the publication of works by our own writers; encouraged, no doubt, by the success of the former numbers of the “Library.” To those fond of adventure, and of extending their information to less familiar parts of the world, the description of the voyage to Africa, is No. 1, and the manners and customs of the people of those parts of it which the author visited, cannot fall to be interesting. In the account of his visit to Liberia, the writer (an officer in our own navy) has exhibited some of the best qualifications of a journalist. To the friends of emancipation, or to the general reader, this part of the work will, no doubt, be highly acceptable. Is No. 2, which is composed of miscellaneous tales, by Poe, we are favored with some fine specimens of the genius of that author, who takes so high a stand among our American fiction displays itself in these as in his previous writings. It is well for our publishers that the fountains from which they can draw, like those of our author's mind, are inexhaustible. Headley's Letters from Italy, in No. 3. are the production of an evidently highly cultivated young American, who has visited that “classic land,” and sympathized alike with the beautiful and grand, the lively and humorous objects, that passed before him. He seems to be as acute observer of men and things, as well as a faithful delineator. The work is full of lively interest; and, considering the fact that so much has been written of that “land of art and song,” we think it worthy of the highest praise in that the writer has described so many new and interesting objects. The description of Rome is the best we have ever seen, not excepting those found in the most successful Journals of English travellers in Italy. The impression, or reading parts of it, is, that Italy has never before been described.



This review, as well as three others, was first resurrected by Burton R. Pollin in “Poe, Freeman Hunt, and Four Unrecorded Reviews of Poe's Works,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. XVI, no. 2, Summer 1974, pp. 305-313. In that article, he also identifies the likely author as Freeman Hunt. Hunt, the editor whose name was borne in the name of the magazine, appears to have been favorably disposed toward Poe. In his Literati entry on Hunt, Poe said of him that “He is a true friend, and the enemy of no man. ... His heart is full of the warmest sympathies and charities. No one in New York is more universally popular.”


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