Text: Killis Campbell, “The Poe-Griswold Controversy,” The Mind of Poe and Other Studies (1933), pp. 63-98 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 63:]


THE bitterest of all the controversies that have been waged about Poe is that which grew out of the publication, shortly after his death, of two papers by Rufus Wilmot Griswold, the poet’s literary executor. These papers — one, an obituary notice that appeared in the New York Tribune of October 9, 1849; the other, Griswold’s memoir of Poe, first published in his edition of Poe’s works in September, 1850 — were both severely condemnatory of the dead poet, and most of Poe’s biographers have held them to be cruelly unjust; but there have been some — and among them critics that may speak with the highest authority — who have pronounced Griswold’s judgments upon Poe to be essentially just and fair. I shall here attempt a fresh examination of the case, relying mainly on the evidence collected by Poe’s biographers, but taking account also of a number of documents, mainly from the periodicals of Griswold’s time, that have ordinarily been either overlooked or ignored. [page 64:]


Poe and Griswold first met in March, 1841.(1) At that time Poe was editor of Graham’s Magazine, while Griswold was busily at work on the first of his anthologies, the Poets and Poetry of America. Poe’s earliest public mention of Griswold appears to have been a brief notice in his “Autography” (published in Graham’s for December, 1841).(2) He there describes Griswold as “a gentleman of fine taste and sound judgment” and as possessing a “knowledge of American literature, in all its details, [such as] is not exceeded by that of any man among us.” Griswold’s first public mention of Poe appears to have been the sketch of him printed in the Poets and Poetry of America in the spring of 1842. In this sketch Griswold is silent as to Poe’s character, but he declares his verses to be “highly imaginative” and “eminently distinguished for their spirituality and skilful versification.”(3) During the summer of 1842 Poe wrote for the Boston Miscellany a review of Griswold’s book in which he reaffirmed his faith in Griswold as a critic and pronounced his anthology “the most important addition which our literature has [page 65:] for many years received”;(1) and in a letter to Griswold, written about the same time, he assures him that his anthology, though not without faults, was “a better book than any other man in the United States could have made of the materials.”(2)

Early in the summer of 1842, Griswold succeeded to the place that Poe had lately vacated as editor of Graham’s Magazine, and shortly thereafter a coolness sprang up between them. On July 6, 1842, Poe wrote to a Southern correspondent that he intended, in a magazine that he was projecting, to “make war to the knife against the New England assumption of ‘All the decency and all the talent’ which has been so disgustingly manifested in the Rev. Rufus W. Griswold’s ‘Poets and Poetry of America.’”(3) He abused Griswold, also, in other letters of this period;(4) and in delivering a lecture on the “Poetry of America” at Philadelphia in November, 1843, and again in Baltimore in January, 1844, he is said to have been “witheringly severe” on Griswold.(5) In the New World of March 11, 1843, moreover, there appeared an anonymously written article which has been plausibly attributed to Poe,(6) in which the charge is [page 66:] made that Griswold is “wholly unfit, either by intellect or character, to occupy the editorial chair of Graham.”(1) Poe made slighting references to Griswold, also, in two articles in the Columbia Spy in the summer of 1844,(2) and, likewise in 1844, in the opening paragraph of his story “The Angel of the Odd” (October, 1844). Griswold, on his part, although Poe had condescended on June 11, 1843,(3) to appeal to him for a loan of five dollars on the plea of his wife’s illness, circulated about this time or a little later (according to Lowell’s friend, C. F. Briggs) some “shocking bad stories” about Poe;(4) and Poe mentions in one of his letters (written “early in 1849”) a “beastly article” at his expense, published apparently in 1843, which he suspected Griswold of having written.(5) There followed a period of a year or more when the two were not on speaking terms. [page 67:]

But early in 1845 Poe made an attempt to patch up his quarrel with Griswold, writing him a conciliatory letter on January 16, 1845, and asking him for an opportunity to talk over their differences;(1) and they soon resumed, ostensibly at least, their former amicable relations. On repeating his lecture in New York in February, 1845, Poe omitted, as he took pains to assure Griswold, all that might have been objectionable to him;(2) and during the course of the year he published in the Broadway Journal two brief notices in which he praised Griswold and his editorial accomplishments.(3) Griswold in turn published during the year an article in which he praised Poe ungrudgingly. This article, which appeared in the Washington National Intelligencer of August 30, 1845, is devoted to a consideration of the chief “Tale writers” of America. Charles Brockden Brown, Hawthorne, Cooper, Irving, Willis, and Simms are treated in turn, but Poe is given ampler space and larger praise than any of the rest. “He belongs to the first class of tale writers,” says Griswold, and his stories not only possess “a great deal of imagination and fancy,” but are “the results of consummate art.” In October of the same year Griswold generously responded to an appeal from Poe for a loan of fifty [page 68:] dollars to tide over a crisis in the affairs of the Broadway Journal.(1) In his Prose Writers of America, moreover, — a second famous anthology, compiled largely in 1845,(2) — he made room for “The Fall of the House of Usher” in its entirety, prefacing it with a sketch of the poet in which he praised both his poems and his tales.(3)

Poe, it seems, published in 1847 a letter relating in some way to Griswold, — a notice of the Prose Writers, perhaps, — referred to in one of his letters to Griswold as “Letter in Int., 1847”;(4) but this I have been unable to find. It is clear, nevertheless, — whatever may have been the nature of this article, — that another rupture, or partial rupture, between the two had come about in 1846.(5) Their correspondence lapsed during the years 1846-1848; and Mrs. Clemm remarks, in a notice prefixed to the first volume of the Griswold edition of Poe, that their “personal relations” prior to 1849 had “for [some] years been [page 69:] interrupted.”(1) Griswold is said to have indulged during these years in something of backbiting at Poe’s expense;(2) and he further aroused the ill-will of Poe by publishing at some time in 1846, in the New England Weekly Gazette, an article in which he drew attention to certain alleged flaws in “The Raven.”(3)

A reconciliation between the two again took place, however, with the beginning of the year 1849. Poe in February published in the Southern Literary Messenger a favorable notice of Griswold’s Female Poets of America.(4) Griswold, in turn, on bringing out a new edition of The Poets and Poetry of America, enlarged the number of Poe’s poems there collected to fourteen. And in June their friendly relations had been so far resumed that Poe felt at liberty to call on Griswold for aid in disposing of certain of his literary wares.(5) On October 7, 1849, Poe died, and it developed soon afterwards that he had expressed the wish shortly before his death that Griswold should serve as his literary executor. On the second day after Poe’s death Griswold published in the New York Tribune (evening edition) the obituary notice of Poe already referred to as the “Ludwig Article,” and in [page 70:] September of the following year he published his “Memoir” of Poe.

The “Ludwig Article” — Griswold’s obituary sketch of Poe(1) — opens with the following paragraph:

EDGAR ALLAN POE IS DEAD. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was known, personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had readers in England, and in several of the states of Continental Europe; but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.

Griswold then gives a brief account of Poe’s life based largely on the sketch already published in his Poets and Poetry of America; after which he enters into an analysis of Poe’s mind and character, making therein the following observations derogatory to the poet:

1) That in character Poe was unamiable, arrogant, irascible, envious, a cynic, and a misanthrope.

2) That “you could not contradict him but you raised quick choler; you could not speak of wealth, but his cheek paled with gnawing envy.”

3) That “there seemed to him [I quote Griswold’s words] no moral susceptibility; and. . . little or nothing of the true point of honor.” [page 71:]

4) That he “had, to a morbid excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no wish for the esteem or the love of his species; only the hard wish to exceed. . . that he might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit.”

The animus behind Griswold’s sketch is obvious. As was inevitable, this article called forth a number of protests. N. P. Willis came promptly to the poet’s defense in an article in the Home Journal of October 20, 1849,(1) in which he expressed vigorous dissent from Griswold’s judgment, and suggested that the poet’s alleged irregularities of conduct — of which Willis professed to have no first-hand knowledge(2) — were attributable to a “reversed [side of his] character” displayed by him only when he was under the influence of drink. There was also a protest by Henry B. Hirst in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier of the same date, in which Griswold’s sketch was pronounced “brilliant,” but unjust. Three weeks later (on November 13) there appeared in the New York Tribune a verse-tribute to the poet’s memory, by an anonymous contributor from Chicago, in which Griswold’s statement that Poe died friendless was warmly challenged. The attack was continued in the early months of the following year (1850) with the publication (in January) of the first two volumes [page 72:] of Griswold’s edition of Poe (the first volume of which included Willis’s article, into which the “Ludwig Article” had been incorporated in part). The most spirited of the protests now published was that of George R. Graham,(1) proprietor of the magazine which bore his name and which Poe and Griswold had successively edited. Graham denounced Griswold’s sketch as “unfair and untrue,” “a fancy sketch of a perverted, jaundiced vision,” “an ill-judged and misplaced calumny upon [a] gifted son of genius.” Griswold was hotly assailed also by John Neal, in an article published in the Portland Advertiser on April 26, 1850. And a defense of the poet, more temperate in tone, was made by the editor of the American Whig Review,(2) G. W. Peck, who based his dissent from Griswold on an examination of Poe’s writings, and who concluded on this basis that Poe “had as much heart as other men,” that he was “a pure-minded gentleman,” and that there was no ground for believing that he was “mainly destitute of moral and religious principle.”

But there were also those who sided with Griswold. Lewis Gaylord Clark published in the Knickerbocker for February, 1850,(3) a notice of Griswold’s first two volumes in which he endorsed both Griswold and his appraisal of Poe; and William Wallace is said to have written a reply to Neal’s attack on Griswold.(4) [page 73:]

Others, without specifically mentioning Griswold or writing avowedly in his defense, advanced much the same view as Griswold of Poe’s temper and character. C. F. Briggs, Lowell’s friend, published an editorial article in Holden’s Dollar Magazine for December, 1849,(1) in which he describes Poe as “a strange and fearful being,” and declares that it would be a bold biographer who would dare to make such a revelation of his life as the task demanded. George Ripley, in reviewing these volumes in the Tribune of January 17, 1850, remarked that Poe was a man of “uncommon genius,” but that he “had no earnestness of character, no sincerity of conviction, no faith in human excellence”; and John M. Daniel, a fire-eating editor of Richmond, contributed an article to the Southern Literary Messenger of March, 1850,(2) in which, while condemning Griswold, he went even farther than Griswold or his defenders in condemnation of Poe.(3)

These articles made it clear that Poe had a number of bitter enemies; but they also served to show that he was not without loyal friends, and they tended to [page 74:] discredit, in a measure, Griswold’s statements as to the perversity of his character.


Griswold’s “Memoir” of Poe was first published in 1850 as a part of the third volume of the Griswold edition of Poe’s works, in which it comprises some thirty pages.(1) It is introduced by a note from Griswold in which he endeavors to justify his course in publishing the “Ludwig Article” on the ground that at the time he was unaware of his appointment as Poe’s executor; and he intimates that he had felt impelled to write the article by the attacks that had been made upon him by Graham and Neal.

It may be noted, however, in passing, that although there is nothing to show that Poe, in selecting Griswold as his executor, intended that he should also serve as his biographer, — Mrs. Clemm’s statement (in a notice “To the Reader” prefixed to the first volume of the Griswold edition) is fairly explicit to the effect that it was the poet’s desire merely that Griswold should act as literary executor and “ superintend [page 75:] the publications of his works,”(1) while Willis was looked to for “observations upon his life and character,” — Griswold’s statement in a letter of October 31, 1849, to Lowell, makes it clear that he already had in mind at that time the publication of his “Memoir.”(2) He here speaks of “giving notice perhaps [in the advertisement to the first volumes published] of an intention to prepare his life and correspondence hereafter.” And there is evidence from a different source that he had already set about collecting material for a memoir before the end of the year. This evidence is afforded by a letter of John R. Thompson’s to Griswold, written December 21, 1849, in which the following sentence occurs: “I have too long delayed sending you the promised mems of poor Poe, and I fear that what I now enclose will be of little value, scarcely sufficient to warrant their incorporation into the Life.”(3) That he was further actuated in the writing of the “Memoir” by the attacks made upon him by Graham and others there is no reason to doubt.(4)

In the “Memoir” Griswold enters much more fully into a consideration of Poe’s writings than he had [page 76:] done in the obituary sketch, and he also develops at greater length the details of Poe’s life. His judgments on Poe’s writings are, for the most part, commendatory, and coincide, in the main, with the view now generally held. In his observations on Poe’s life and character, however, he is much more severe than he had been in the Tribune article. The old charges of arrogance, envy, misanthropy, and a debased sense of honor reappear, and the following additional charges are brought forward:

1) That while a student at the University of Virginia Poe had “led a very dissipated life,” and that he had been expelled in consequence of his excesses there.(1)

2) That after leaving West Point he had enlisted in the United States Army, but had presumably deserted.(2)

3) That he had been guilty of a still darker crime in his relations with the second Mrs. Allan.(3)

4) That in certain of his publications — among them his Conchologist’s First Book — he had been guilty of plagiarisms that were “scarcely paralleled for their audacity in all literary history.”(4)

5) That his “unsupported assertions and opinions were so apt to be influenced by friendship or enmity . . . that they should be received in all cases with distrust of their fairness.”(5)

6) That he exhibited “scarcely any virtue in [page 77:] either his life or his writings,” and that both his life and his writings were “without a recognition or a manifestation of conscience.”(1)

He closes by repeating from the “Ludwig Article” the following passage:

There seemed to him no moral susceptibility; and, what was more remarkable in a proud nature, little or nothing of the true point of honor. He had, to a morbid excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no wish for the esteem or the love of his species; only the hard wish to succeed — not shine, not serve — succeed, that he might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit.

This sketch, coming as it did from the approved editor of Poe and presented with much circumstantiality, had the effect of silencing for a time most of Poe’s defenders. It was adopted as authentic in all save a very few of the contemporary notices of Griswold’s edition of Poe’s works, and in virtually every other edition of Poe’s writings that appeared during the first two decades after the poet’s death. Among reviews in which it is accepted as authentic (or largely so) are those published in the Richmond Whig for September 28, 1850; the Knickerbocker for October, 1850; the Democratic Review for December, 1850, and January and February, 1851; the Westminster Review for January, 1852; Tait’s Magazine for April, 1852;(2) Chambers’s Edinburgh [page 78:] Journal for February 26, 1853;(1) Gilfillan’s Third Gallery of Portraits, 1854;(2) the North American Review for October, 1856; Fraser’s Magazine for June, 1857; and the Edinburgh Review for April, 1858.

The writer of the first of these reviews, John R. Thompson,(3) editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, took occasion in commenting on Griswold’s “Memoir” to say that it was, in his judgment, “truthful,” and that such “hard things” as Griswold had brought out seemed “to have been brought out because their suppression would have been as palpable as departure from an honest estimate of the poet, as a direct misstatement of any of his qualities.” Lewis Gaylord Clark, editor of the Knickerbocker, who had, in February, 1850, vouched for the correctness of the “Ludwig Article,” also made occasion to vouch for the correctness of this second article of Griswold’s.(4) There were those, too, who went farther than Griswold had gone. The writer of the notice in the Edinburgh Review,(5) for instance, declared that Poe was “a blackguard of undeniable mark” and that “the lowest abyss of moral imbecility and disrepute” had never been attained until Poe’s [page 79:] advent into this world; while the reviewer in the London Critic, George Gilfillan, a British clergyman, boldly asserted that Poe’s “heart was as rotten as his conduct was infamous,” that he had “absolutely no virtue or good quality,” and that he broke his wife’s heart, “hurrying her to a premature grave, that he might write ‘Annabel Lee’ and ‘The Raven.’”(1)

Of outspoken public protests at this time there were amazingly few. The only vigorous protest that was promptly forthcoming, so far as I am aware, was that of an anonymous contributor to the Saturday Evening Post of September 21, 1850. This reviewer (probably the editor of the Post, Henry Peterson), while admitting that he held “no very exalted opinion of Mr. Poe’s character,” insisted, nevertheless, that he was unable to find any excuse for Griswold’s course; and he suggests that Griswold perhaps understood literary executor to mean “one who executes.” Continuing, he says:

Considering this biography as the work of a literary executor, we must say that a more cold-blooded and ungenerous composition has seldom come under our notice. Nothing so condemnatory of Mr. Poe, so absolutely blasting to his character has ever appeared in print. . . . It is absolutely horrible (considering the circumstances under which Mr. Griswold writes) with what cool deliberateness he charges upon Mr. Poe the basest and most dishonorable actions. [page 80:]

Others, while not excepting to the facts as set down by Griswold, demurred to the spirit of his article. The reviewer in Fraser’s Magazine,(1) for instance, Rev. A. K. H. Boyd, remarked that it was “curious. . . how little pains the biographer takes to conceal the shortcomings of his hero”; and the editor of the Democratic Review(2) pleads with the critics of Poe not to “rattle his bones.” E. A. Duyckinck, editor of the Literary World,(3) while apparently accepting Griswold’s account of Poe’s life, inquired whether Griswold in republishing the Literati papers had not tampered with his text, and drew attention to the fact that Griswold was careful to omit “any unhandsome references” to himself.

Graham is said to have written Mrs. Clemm in the fall of 1850 that he and other friends were determined to come to Poe’s defense;(4) but in the December number of his magazine he dismissed the matter with the statement that “by the decision of several discreet friends of the lamented Poe” he was omitting “a number of letters and articles which [had] been collected in relation to his life and writings,” giving as his reason that “the wounds made by his criticisms are too fresh — the conflicting interests too many, to hope now to do that justice which time and the sober second thought of educated minds will accord to his memory”; and he concludes with the [page 81:] promise (made good in Graham’s for February, 1854) to perform at some later time “the grateful duty” which he felt himself to owe to the poet.(1) Willis republished in his Hurrygraphs in 1851 his reply to the “Ludwig Article”; and in an editorial in the Home Journal in 1856(2) he branded the article published in the North American Review in the same year (in which some of the severest of Griswold’s charges had been rehashed) as “uncharitable,” “needlessly severe,” and, in some of its conclusions, “merciless.” He also republished in the Home Journal of March 16, 1850, Graham’s first article on Poe, declaring at the same time that it was “most creditable to Graham”; and he admitted to the columns of the Home Journal (March 30, 1850) a stinging reply to Daniel’s article in the Messenger. Significant, too, is a letter of his to George P. Morris written in October, 1859 (quoted by Ingram) (3), in which he remarks (p. xlviii) : “You remember how absolutely and how good-humoredly ready he was for any suggestion; how punctually and industriously reliable in the following out of the wish once expressed; how cheerful and present-minded his work when he might excusably have been so listless and abstracted”; and adds: “We loved the man for the entireness of the fidelity with which he served us.”

As time passed, the number of those who were [page 82:] unwilling to accept Griswold’s account steadily increased. In February, 1852, C. C. Burr, who had known Poe in his darkest days, contributed to the Nineteenth Century(1) a brief article in which he dissented from Griswold’s imputation to Poe of ingratitude and heartlessness. “He was,” writes Burr, “in the core of his heart, a grateful, single-minded, loving kind of man. . . a very gentle, thoughtful, scrupulously refined, and modest kind of man,” who although “he had faults and many weaknesses,” had also “a congregation of virtues which made him loved as well as admired by those who knew him best.” Stoddard, although evidently antagonistical to Poe at heart, admitted, in an article in the National Magazine for March, 1853,(2) that the biographical sketches of Poe had been written “by indifferent friends or open foes,” and that they had been “needlessly cruel.” In August, 1853, an anonymous contributor to the Waverley Magazine, in speaking of the inaccuracy of Griswold’s “Memoir,” expressed the hope that it would not be long before an “unbiased life and collection of Poe’s works” should be published. In the following year Graham published his second article in defense of Poe, in which he again protested against the accusations of looseness in money matters and of habitual unfairness in his criticisms.(3) Two years later appeared Baudelaire’s [page 83:] famous sketch of Poe,(1) in which a vehement protest was made against the tone and spirit of Griswold’s account. The next year (1857) a lively defense of Poe by J. Wood Davidson appeared in Russell’s Magazine.(2) In the same year, L. A. Godey, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, wrote to the editor of the Knickerbocker(3) to say that he was not to be “counted in among those. . . to whom . . . Poe proved faithless,” and that the poet’s conduct toward him was “in all respects honorable and unblameworthy.” In 1859, another Philadelphia acquaintance of Poe’s, L. A. Wilmer, in his book, Our Press Gang, remonstrated against Griswold’s treatment of Poe.(4) And toward the end of the year 1859 appeared Mrs. Whitman’s Edgar Poe and his Critics, an entire volume devoted to the defense of Poe and directed mainly against Griswold, whose “ Memoir “ of Poe she declares to be unjust and misleading and to involve “remorseless violations of the trust confided to him.”(5) [page 84:] Among other articles in defense of Poe that appeared during the next decade are articles by Mayne Reid,(1) who had known the Poes in Philadelphia, and Thomas Cottrell Clarke, a Philadelphia printer and publisher who had known him intimately.(2) There appeared also, in 1866, a strange article by one who styles himself Parke Van Parke(3) and who professes to write at the instance of the poet’s sister, Rosalie Poe, in which Griswold’s memoir is pronounced the most “atrocious instance of human iniquity. . . since the days of Cain.”


Such was the contemporary attitude to Griswold’s “Memoir” of Poe. What, now, does an examination of Griswold’s sketch in the light of our maturer knowledge of Poe as brought out by his editors and biographers reveal as to the trustworthiness of Griswold’s account? Such an inquiry reveals, first of all, that some of the ugliest charges made by Griswold against Poe were based on Poe’s own misstatements to Griswold. The authority for the charge that Poe led, while at the University of Virginia, a “very dissipated life”(4) turns out to be a document in Poe’s handwriting sent to Griswold in March, 1841,(5) and now preserved in the Poe Shrine at Richmond. [page 85:] Chargeable to Poe also are Griswold’s inaccuracies as to the date of Poe’s birth,(1) as to the duration of his stay in London when a boy,(2) and as to an alleged second expedition to Europe in 1827.(3) Investigation has also shown that Griswold was correct in charging that Poe had made questionable use of another’s materials in the composition of his Conchologist’s First Book.(4) And it is now reasonably clear that Poe was sometimes actuated by considerations of self-interest or by a feeling of jealousy in his critical judgments.

But there is a good deal of error in Griswold’s “Memoir” for which we can be certain that Poe was not responsible. It has long since been established that Poe was not expelled from the University of Virginia. Nor is there any reason to believe that he ever deserted from the army. And the sole basis for the vile insinuation of an attempted assault upon the person of Mrs. Allan is the quite unsupported assertion of John M. Daniel,(5) in whose testimony very little reliance may be placed. That Poe was without friends at the time of his death or that he was incapable [page 85:] of gratitude for service done has been disproved over and over again by the testimony of those who knew him best; while the charge that he was without a sense of honor or without any manifestation of conscience is too sweeping to call for serious consideration.(1)

Other charges, involving certain contemporaries of Poe, were specifically denied by those affected, either publicly or by letter, soon after the appearance of the “Memoir.” Within ten days after the publication of the “Memoir,” Longfellow wrote to Griswold to correct his statement that he had “ been shown by Mr. Longfellow. . . a series of papers which constitute a demonstration that Mr. Poe was indebted to him for the idea of ‘The Haunted Palace.’”(2) In the New York Tribune of June 7, 1852, W. J. Pabodie, a friend of Mrs. Whitman, made a formal denial of Griswold’s charge that Poe had, at some time in 1848, committed at the home of Mrs. Whitman “such outrages as made necessary a summons of the police.” Further denials were made by Mrs. Whitman herself in her book, Edgar Poe and his Critics.(3) A score of years later J. H. B. Latrobe [page 87:] corrected some inaccuracies in Griswold’s account of the deliberations of the judges on the occasion of the awarding to Poe his first short-story prize in 1833.(1)

It is proper to note also — what the reader can hardly escape noting — that Griswold, although he writes as literary executor, assumes in his comments on Poe as a man an attitude of undisguised hostility. He does, in truth, introduce the gracious testimony of Mrs. Osgood as to Poe’s chivalrous conduct toward women and as to his affection for his invalid wife; but he is careful to state that Mrs. Osgood accepted his analysis of Poe’s character as accurate and that she meant to testify only as to the character assumed by the poet when in the presence of women.(2) And in justification of his course he argues, forsooth, that “it has always been made a portion of the penalty of wrong that its anatomy should be displayed for the common study and advantage.”(3)

The conclusion, then, is inevitable that a number of the harsher things said about Poe by Griswold are true, and that certain inaccuracies in his account rest upon Poe’s inaccurate statements to him; but that most of the more damaging things charged against Poe by Griswold are either without substantial basis in fact or are greatly exaggerated; and, [page 88:] further, that Griswold both discredits himself and discounts his judgments with respect to Poe by consistently assuming, in his comments upon the poet’s character, an attitude of unabashed hostility to him.


It remains to inquire into the charge that has been made against Griswold of garbling certain of Poe’s letters in his effort to strengthen his case against the poet.

In the preface of his “Memoir,” Griswold includes eleven letters that he had received from Poe. The originals of only six of these have come down to us.(1) Four of these six originals differ only slightly and immaterially from the versions printed by Griswold; but two of them exhibit startling variations from Griswold’s text.(2) To make these discrepancies as graphic as possible, I have reproduced here the two letters as printed by Griswold, putting in italics the more important passages which do not appear in the postmarked originals and enclosing in brackets certain passages that appear in the originals but do not appear in Griswold’s text.(3) [page 89:]

The first letter, dated February 24, 1845, runs as follows:

My dear Griswold: — A thousand thanks for your kindness in the matter of those books, which I could not afford to buy, and had so much need of. Soon after seeing you, I sent you, through Zieber, all my poems worth republishing, and I presume they reached you. I was sincerely delighted with what you said of them, and if you will write your criticism in the form of a preface, I shall be greatly obliged to you. I say this not because you praised me: everybody praises me now: but because you so perfectly understand me, or what I have aimed at, in all my poems: I did not think you had so much delicacy of appreciation joined with your strong sense; I can say truly that no man’s approbation gives me so much pleasure. I send you with this another package, also through Zieber, by Burgess & Stringer. It contains, in the way of essay, “Mesmeric Revelation,” which I would like to have go in, even if you have to omit the “House of Usher.” [I send also a portion of the “Marginalia,” in which I have marked some of the most pointed passages.] I send also corrected copies of (in the way of funny criticism, but you don’t like this) “Flaccus,” which conveys a tolerable idea of my style; and of my serious manner “Barnaby Rudge “ is a good specimen. [In “Graham” you will find these.] In the tale line, “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” “The Gold Bug,” and the “Man that Was Used Up” — far more than enough, but you can select to suit yourself. I prefer the “G. B.” to the “M. in the R. M.” [but have not a copy just now. If there is no immediate hurry for it, however, I will get one & send it you corrected. Please write & let me know if you get this.] I have taken a third interest in the “Broadway Journal,” and will be glad if you could send me anything [at any time, in the way of “Literary Intelligence”] for it. [page 90:] Why not let me anticipate the book publication of your splendid essay on Milton?

Truly yours,  

The second letter is “without date” (and is so described by Griswold), but the original manuscript as mailed to Griswold bears the postmark “New York Apr. 19,” and it is evident, both from Griswold’s statement that it was Poe’s “next” letter after the letter of February 24,(1) and from the reference to Poe’s New York lecture (delivered February 28, 1845), that it was written in 1845.

Dear Griswold: — I return the proofs with many thanks for your attentions. The poems look quite as well in the short metres as in the long ones, and I am quite content as it is. [You will perceive, however, that some of the lines have been divided at the wrong place. I have marked them right in the proof ; but lest there should be any misapprehension, I copy them as they should be. . . .(2) Near the beginning of the poem you have “nodded” spelt “nooded.”] In “The Sleeper” you have “Forever with unclosed eye” for “Forever with unopen’d eye.” Is it possible to make the correction? I presume you understand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets, (in N. Y.) I left out all that was offensive to yourself.(4) I am ashamed of myself that I ever said anything of you that was so unfriendly or so [page 91:] unjust; but what I did say I am confident has been misrepresented to you. See my notice of C. F. Hoffman’s (?) sketch of you.

Very sincerely yours,  

How to account for these discrepancies is not at once clear. Possibly Griswold relied upon rejected drafts of the letters, found (on this supposition) by him among Poe’s papers, — what we know happened, indeed, in the case of a letter of Poe’s of March 10, 1847, to Mrs. Jane E. Locke (the manuscript may still be seen among the Griswold Papers in the Boston Public Library).(1) But obviously appearances are against Griswold, for it is just those passages that are somehow complimentary to him that do not appear in the original manuscripts. And in at least one instance it is evident that Griswold actually interpolated matter that proceeded from his own pen. I refer to the closing sentence in the letter last quoted above: “See my notice of C. F. Hoffman’s (?) sketch of you.” Poe’s letter to Griswold is postmarked “Apr. 19,” but Hoffman’s sketch of Griswold (or at least the sketch attributed to Hoffman which Griswold represents Poe as referring to) did not appear until some time in May (being a part of the June issue of Graham’s Magazine), and was noticed by Poe in the Broadway Journal for May 17.(2) This sentence, [page 92:] then, referring as it does to an article which was not in existence at the time that Poe’s letter was written and which was not to appear in print till some four weeks after the date of Poe’s letter, was plainly forged by Griswold.

Whether or not any of the remaining sentences in question are ungenuine we cannot be certain; but with the establishment of the fact that one of the suspected sentences was the work of Griswold, the presumption is greatly strengthened that all of the suspected sentences proceeded from him. In other words, it would appear that each of the italicized sentences in the letters printed above was forged and interpolated by Griswold.’ Another passage which in all likelihood proceeded from Griswold is to be found in the words “one of our great little cliquists and claquers” (referring to Evert A. Duyckinck) which appear in Griswold’s text(2) of a letter of Poe’s, dated August 9, 1846, to P. P. Cooke, but which do not appear in the original manuscript of that letter.(3) It would seem that Griswold also took the liberty of abridging and otherwise altering, in his “Memoir,” one of his own letters to Poe: see the text of that letter as printed by Griswold which Professor Harrison, in his edition of Poe’s letters, [page 93:] juxtaposes with the text of the original manuscript of that letter.(1)


What, finally, of the integrity of Griswold’s editing of Poe? Evert A. Duyckinck in his review of the third volume of the Griswold edition of Poe (printed immediately after the appearance of that volume) (2) raises the question whether the Literati papers (first collected there) had not “undergone editorial revisal.” Both Ingram(3) and Gill(4) have made a similar imputation of editorial recklessness against Griswold, instancing, in particular, the article on Thomas Dunn English, as bearing the marks of having been tampered with. More recently the editors of the “Virginia Poe” have charged that Griswold not only tampered with the text of the Literati, but that he also took indefensible liberties with still other papers. Specifically, it is alleged that Griswold substituted for five of the Literati papers (those on Briggs, English, Lawson, Mrs. Osgood, and Mrs. Hewitt) “other papers in the Poe manner,”(5) and that in the case of a number of Poe’s reviews he made free to combine two or more papers into one, to omit or to transpose numerous passages of considerable length, and to mutilate in still other ways his originals.(6)

Such comparison as I have made of Griswold’s [page 94:] text of Poe’s writings with their originals leads me to believe — indeed, convinces me — that Griswold, judged by standards of to-day, was not a careful editor. It is reasonably plain that he silently altered the titles of several of Poe’s poems and tales.(1) It is all but certain that he did not always adopt Poe’s latest text.(2) He allowed numerous typographical errors to escape him.(3) And he omitted from his edition some things of importance that were surely known to him — among them the earlier lyric “To Helen.” That he also made bold here and there to prune away matter that he felt to be unimportant, or that he even transposed parts of certain papers and combined others, I think not improbable.(4)

But that Griswold made any very substantial changes in the text of Poe’s critical papers or that he introduced any papers not actually written by Poe I doubt very much. The article on Mrs. Osgood as printed by him among the Literati papers(5) turns out [page 95:] to be, as Professor Woodberry has already noted,(1) a review of Mrs. Osgood’s poems contributed by Poe to the Southern Literary Messenger of August, 1849. Another of the Literati papers whose authenticity has been questioned, that entitled “Thomas Dunn Brown,”(2) survives in a manuscript in Poe’s autograph, owned by the Rosenbach Company of Philadelphia.

The three remaining Literati papers supposed to have been substituted by Griswold without authority — namely, those on Briggs, Lawson, and Mrs. Hewitt — were, I imagine, either similarly based on manuscripts found by Griswold among Poe’s papers (as in the case of the article on English) or had already been published in some periodical (as in the case of the article on Mrs. Osgood). Professor Woodberry suggests(3) that these articles (he includes also the article on English) were a part of a volume variously entitled(4) “‘The American Parnassus,” “A Critical History of American Literature,” “Living Writers of America,” and “The Authors of America in Prose and Verse,” on which Poe was engaged for half a dozen years before his death; and this suggestion is confirmed, so far as the article on English is concerned, [page 96:] by the manuscript containing the “Thomas Dunn Brown” article, which contains also holograph copies of the Literati papers on Richard Adams Locke and Christopher Pearse Cranch, and which bears the title “Literary America.”(1)

So, also, it seems to me altogether probable that the longer passages believed to be unauthentic in Griswold’s texts of Poe’s reviews(2) are, in reality, the work of Poe, and that Poe, likewise, was responsible for much, if not most, of the curtailing and rearranging exhibited in Griswold’s edition.’ As is well known, [page 97:] Poe was constantly revising work that he had already published. Some of the recasting that he may be supposed to have made in his critical articles was made, in all likelihood, with a view to incorporating these articles in his “Literary America,” which was to include, not only the writers of New York City (to which the Literati papers as published in Godey’s and the Democratic Review had been restricted), but in addition writers of note from all parts of America — in fact, it is described, in one of the titles under which it is referred to, as “A Critical History of American Literature.”(1)

But what most inclines me to doubt that Griswold wrote any considerable part of the matter thought to have been interpolated or substituted by him in Poe’s essays is the complete lack of motive for such a course.(2) Griswold was a busy man; and there was in the case of these papers — the case was different with Poe’s letters — nothing for him to gain by tampering with them: there is in these suspected passages nothing that would tend to exhibit Poe in [page 98:] a darker light, nothing that would in any way inure to Griswold’s benefit. And there is, besides, the test of style. Griswold wrote at times with exceptional pungency and vigor; but it is not very difficult to distinguish his manner from Poe’s. There is, I feel, no one of the papers — or of the brief passages — whose genuineness has been called in question that does not bear the stamp of Poe’s manner.

Accordingly, I believe we are justified in concluding that Griswold’s chief delinquencies as editor consist in the minor delinquencies of careless proofreading, in a willingness to set his own judgment against Poe’s in the matter of certain textual readings, and in the omission of sundry more or less important items. As editor — that is, merely as editor — he probably performed the task committed to him as well as any other American editor of his time, save possibly Lowell, could have done. It was as biographer, not as editor, that Griswold sinned against Poe.



[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 62:]

1.  Reprinted, with revisions and additions, from the Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, XXXIV, 436 f. (September, 1919).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 64:]

1.  Griswold’s edition of Poe’s Works [[Poe’s Works]], I, xxi. My references are to the edition of 1856.

2.  Poe’s Works, xv, 215.

3.  At the same time, however, he limits the number of Poe’s poems that he includes in his anthology to three, although he had made room for twenty-five of Percival’s poems and no fewer than thirty-three of Charles Fenno Hoffman’s.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 65:]

1.  See the Boston Miscellany for November, 1842, and Poe’s Works, xi, 156. There was also a brief review in Graham’s Magazine for June, 1842, which was probably written by Poe.

2.  Griswold, I, xxi.

3.  The Critic, April 16, 1892.

4.  Woodberry’s Life of Poe, I, 353; II, 87.

5.  Modern Language Notes, XXVIII, 68 (March, 1913).

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 65, running to the bottom of page 66:]

6.  Not included among Poe’s works by any of his editors, but assigned to him by W. M. Griswold in Passages from the Correspondence of Rufus [page 66:] W. Griswold, Cambridge, 1898, p. 118, and apparently also by L. G. Clark in the Knickerbocker, xxi, 380 (April, 1843). See below, p. 227, for a discussion of its claims to authenticity.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 66:]

1.  There also appeared in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum early in 1843 an anonymously written review of Griswold’s anthology which has been variously ascribed to Poe, in which Griswold is severely attacked and mercilessly ridiculed, his book being characterized as “a very mut-tonish production” and the editor as “one of the most clumsy of literary thieves” and as knowing no more about poetry than “a Kickapoo Indian.” This article is given to Poe by W. F. Gill, who reprints it in his Life of Poe (pp. 327-346), by Woodberry 48), and by Harrison (who includes it in his edition of Poe’s Works, xi, 220-243) ; but while possibly the work of Poe, the article, as I try to show below (p. 226), was probably the work of some imitator and admirer of the poet.

2.  June 29 and July 6, 1844: see Doings of Gotham, ed. Spannuth and Mabbott, pp. 68-69, 76.

3.  Griswold, I, xxi.

4.  Letter of Briggs to Lowell, quoted by Woodberry, II, 123.

5.  Griswold, I, xxii.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 67:]

1.  See Griswold, I, xxii; Poe’s Works, xvix, 196, 198.

2.  Griswold, I, xxii; Poe’s Works, xvir, 203.

3.  In his review of “The Magazines” in the Broadway Journal of May 17, 1845 (in a note on Hoffman’s sketch of Griswold in Graham’s Magazine for June, 1845), and in his notice of Griswold’s edition of The Prose Works of John Milton in the Broadway Journal for September 27, 1845 (reprinted in Poe’s Works, XII, 244-247).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 68:]

1.  See Poe’s letters of October 26 and November 1, 1845; Griswold, I, xxii.

2.  Not published till the spring of 1847.

3.  He mildly condemns Poe’s work as a critic, however; and in later editions he was less liberal in his praise of the tales.

4.  Griswold, I, xxii. “ Int.” is perhaps an abbreviation for Intelligencer, but a fairly careful hunt through the columns of the National Intelligencer for 1847 reveals nothing that I can recognize as Poe’s.

5.  Or, possibly, late in 1845: see Poe’s animadversions on Griswold’s poetical anthology in the Broadway Journal of November 29, 1845 (Poe’s Works, xiii, 16), in the course of which he speaks of Griswold as a “dexterous quack.” Evidently this breach did not extend to a complete severance of relations; see Griswold’s Correspondence (p. 230) for mention of a meeting in 1847; and Griswold’s “Memoir” (p. xlii) for a meeting in 1848.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page ???:]

1.  Griswold, I, iii.

2.  See, in this connection, Sartain, Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, New York, 1900, p. 215.

3.  This article I have not seen, nor do I know precisely at what date it appeared; but something of its nature we may glean from a letter of Poe’s of December 15, 1846 (see James Southall Wilson, “The Letters of Edgar A. Poe to George W. Eveleth,” the University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, xvii, 41 f. [January, 1924]).

4.  Griswold, III, 289-292.

5.  Ibid., I, xxiii.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 70:]

1.  Reprinted in Poe’s Works, I, 348-359.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 71:]

1.  Poe’s Works, I, 360-367.

2.  It should be noted, however, that this testimony conflicts with the testimony given by Willis in an earlier notice of Poe (the Home Journal, December 19, 1846), in which he tells of having seen Poe on one occasion when the poet was suffering from the effects of drink.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 72:]

1.  In Graham’s Magazine, XXXVI, 224-226 (March, 1850).

2.  XI, 301-315 (March, 1850).

3.  XXXV, 163-164. See Woodberry, II, 452-453.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 73:]

1.  IV, 765-766. The article was unsigned, but was evidently by Briggs, who was editor of the magazine.

2.  XVI, 172-187.

3.  It is only fair to Poe to say that three of these five — Briggs, Clark, and Daniel — nursed a grudge of some sort against him. Briggs and Poe had quarrelled in 1845 over the Broadway Journal, and Briggs had been attacked by Poe in the Literati papers (Poe’s Works, XV, 20-23) ; Clark, also, had been “used up” by Poe in the Literati papers (ibid., pp. 114-116) ; and Daniel had been challenged by Poe to fight a duel in the summer of 1848 (Woodberry, II, 273, 443 ff.; Whitty, The Complete Poems of Poe, p. lxix).

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 74:]

1.  It first appeared about the middle of September, 1850; see the New York Tribune for September 14, 1850, and the Literary World for September 21, 1850. It was also published about the same time in the International Monthly Magazine (for October, 1850) ; see the New York Tribune of September 25 and the Literary World of September 28, 1850.

The “Memoir,” though first published in the third volume of Griswold’s edition, was transferred to the first volume on the publication of a second edition in 1853, and it continued to occupy this position on the publication of an edition of four volumes in 1856.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 75:]

1.  Griswold, also, in a note prefixed to the “Memoir” interprets his office to be simply “the collection of his works and their publication.”

2.  This letter is preserved among the Lowell Manuscripts in the Harvard College Library.

3.  This letter is preserved among the Griswold Papers in the Boston Public Library. See also a letter of Griswold to John Pendleton Kennedy (the Sewanee Review, XXV, 198 [April, 1917]).

4.  See in this connection a letter to J. T. Fields (of September 25,1850), published in Passages from the Correspondence of Griswold, p. 267.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 76:]

1.  Griswold, I, xxv-xxvi.

2.  Ibid., p. xxvii.

3.  Ibid.

4.  Ibid., p. xlviii.

5.  Ibid., p. xlix.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 77:]

1.  Ibid., p. xlvii.

2.  Reprinted in Littell’s Living Age, XXXIII, 422-424.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 78:]

1.  Littell’s Living Age, XXXVII, 157-161.

2.  Pp. 374 ff. First published in the London Critic, and reprinted in the Southern Literary Messenger, xx, 249 f. (April, 1854), and in Littell’s Living Age, XLI, 166-171.

3.  That this review was from the pen of Thompson is established by a letter of Thompson’s, of September 30, 1850, to Griswold; now among the Griswold Papers in the Boston Public Library.

4.  See the Knickerbocker, XXXVI, 370-372 (October, 1850).

5.  CVII, 420-421 (April, 1858).

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 79:]

1.  A Third Gallery of Portraits, London, 1854, p. 376. Another clergyman, A. K. H. Boyd (Critical Essays of a Country Parson, London, 1867, p. 248), is perhaps echoing this statement of Gilfillan’s when he asserts that Poe “starved his wife, and broke her heart.”

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 80:]

1.  LV, 684-700 (June, 1857). Also in Critical Essays of a Country Parson, London, 1867, pp. 210-248.

2.  XXVIII, 172 (February, 1851).

3.  VII, 228-229 (September 21, 1850),

4.  Ingram’s Life and Letters of Poe, p. 432.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 81:]

1.  Graham’s Magazine, XXXVII, 390 (December, 1850).

2.  October 18, 1856.

3.  In his edition of Poe’s Works, 1874, I, xlvii-xlviii.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 82:]

1.  V, 19-33.

2.  II, 197.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 82, running to the bottom of page 83:]

3.  See Graham’s Magazine, XLIV, 216-225 (February, 1854). He further declares that Poe was a “long-suffering, much-persecuted, greatly-belied man [who] had a soul as soft, as delicate, as tender as a child’s,” and that [page 83:] “every effervescence of excess, of anger, of irritation, or of wrong done to others, was followed by an agony of penitence, and oftentimes by earnest, long-sustained and half-successful efforts at reformation.” He explains the attacks upon Poe after his death as dictated largely by a spirit of revenge on the part of those whom he had antagonized by his criticisms and reviews. But he admits that Poe’s criticisms were in some cases unjust; and he instances his attacks upon Longfellow as among the few that were “utterly unjust.”

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 83:]

1.  “Edgar Poe: sa vie et ses oeuvres”; published as an introduction to his translation of Poe’s tales.

2.  II, 171 (November, 1857).

3.  XLIX, 106 (January, 1857).

4.  See especially pp. 284-285. See also a more detailed defense of Poe by Wilmer in the Baltimore Daily Commercial, May 23, 1866.

5.  Pp. 11, 14, 15.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 84:]

1.  Onward, I, 305-308 (April, 1869).

2.  The Newark Northern Monthly, II, 234 f. (January, 1868).

3.  See his Discussions and Diversions, Philadelphia, 1866, p. 264.

4.  Griswold, I, xxv.

5.  Poe’s Works, I, 344-346.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 85:]

1.  Griswold, relying on Poe’s autobiographical memorandum, gives the date as 1811.

2.  Griswold had followed Poe in stating that the period of his stay in England was 1816 to 1822 in reality it covered the years 1815 to 1820.

3  This yarn survives in several different versions, all apparently traceable to Poe. See Woodberry, I,72 f., 365 f., and the Sewanee Review, XX, 209-210 (April, 1912).

4.  See Poe’s Works, I, 146-148, and Woodberry, I, 194-198. Griswold, however (I, xlviii-xlix), badly overstates the case against Poe as a plagiarist.

5.  The Southern Literary Messenger, XVI, 176 (March, 1850).

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 86:]

1.  Among minor inaccuracies in Griswold’s account are the allegations 1) that Poe was not born at Boston (Griswold, I, xxxvii) ; 2) that “not a line by Poe was purchased for Graham’s Magazine” for “four or five years” before the poet’s death (ibid., p. li: in reality two articles by Poe appeared in Graham’s in 1849) ; and 3) that Poe “prepared with his own hands” the sketch of his life contributed by H. B. Hirst to the Saturday Museum in February, 1843 (ibid., p. 1).

2.  Griswold, I, xlviii; Poe’s Works, XVII, 406-408.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 86, running to the bottom of page 87:]

3.  Mrs. Whitman (p. 15) speaks also of an article in the Home Journal, [page 87:] in 1859 or slightly earlier, in which a “calumnious story” proceeding from Griswold was refuted.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 87:]

1.  Griswold, L xxviii; Edgar Allan Poe: A Memorial Volume, ed. Miss S. S. Rice, Baltimore, 1877, p. 59.

2.  Griswold, i, lii-liv.

3.  Ibid., p. xlvii.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 88:]

1.  Five of these (see Poe’s Works, XVII, 83-84, 198, 200-201, 232-203, 216) are in the Boston Public Library (four of the number being postmarked originals) ; and the sixth (ibid., pp. 346-347) — which is unhappily incomplete as preserved — is in the Wrenn Library of the University of Texas.

2.  One of these is printed in Poe’s Works (XVII, 200-202) with the two versions juxtaposed.

3.  For each of these letters I use Griswold’s text as the basis for comparison.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 90:]

1.  Griswold, I, xxii.

2.  Here Poe quotes four lines from “The Raven,” dividing each line into two lines: see Poe’s Works, XVII, 202.

3.  The original manuscript has “the line” where Griswold has “you have,” and “should read” where Griswold has “for”; and also has the word “alteration” where Griswold has “correction.”

4.  This sentence appears as a postscript in the original manuscript.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 91:]

1.  It is reproduced in Poe’s Works, XVII, 286 f. See in this connection Griswold, I, xli, and also a letter from Mrs. Jane E. Locke touching the matter in Griswold’s Correspondence, p. 265.

2.  I. 316.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 92:]

1.  Griswold points out in his “Memoir” (I, li) two instances in which Poe, in quoting from letters received by him, departed slightly from his originals. But Poe’s derelictions in this particular will scarcely be held to excuse or to palliate Griswold’s.

2.  I, xlvii.

3.  See Poe’s Works, XVII, 228.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 93:]

1.  Ibid., pp. 197-198.

2.  The Literary World, September 21, 1850.

3.  Poe’s Works, Edinburgh, 1874, I, lxi.

4.  The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, p. 179.

5.  Poe’s Works, XV, ix, 263.

6.  Ibid., X, vi-vii.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 94:]

1.  By omitting Poe’s sub-titles: see, for instance, “Ulalume” and “Hop-Frog.” And in at least two instances, as I have pointed out in Modern Language Notes, XLII, 519-520 (December, 1927), he indulged in an even more serious tampering with his text, in the substitution in “King Pest” of the word nature for Poe’s word nare (Poe’s Works, II, 180) and of saneness for sameness in “Morelia” (ibid., p. 29) in a passage that Poe had quoted from Locke.

2.  See the variant readings of “The Raven,” “Lenore,” and “Dream-Land.”

3.  See the list of errata collected by the editors of Poe’s Works, II-VIII, passim.

4.  It is altogether probable, for instance, that Griswold was responsible for the combining of the several articles in reply to “Outis” into one article.

5.  Griswold, in, 87-99; reprinted in Poe’s Works, XV, 271-288.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 95:]

1.  In an unsigned review in the New York Nation for December 4, 1902, p. 446. I owe it to Professor Woodberry to say that I have been anticipated by him in still other conclusions reached here and, likewise, in my general conclusions as to Griswold’s editing.

2.  Griswold, in, 101-104; Poe’s Works, XV, 266-270.

3.  The Nation, December 4,1902, p. 446.

4.  Either in Poe’s references to it in his letters, or in contemporary advance notices of it in the press.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 96:]

1.  Now in the possession of the Rosenbach Company, by whose courtesy I am permitted to quote from it. The rest of the title-page of this manuscript, which is dated “1848,” runs in part as follows: “Some Honest Opinions about our Autorial Merits and Demerits / with / Occasional Words of Personality./ By Edgar A. Poe.”

2.  The chief reviews which exhibit important variations in the Griswold edition are those on Hawthorne (Griswold, III, 188-202; Poe’s Works, XIII, 142-155, XI, 104-113), the Davidson sisters (Griswold, in, 219-228; Poe’s Works, X, 174-178, 221-226), R. M. Bird (Griswold, III, 257-261; Poe’s Works, VIII, 63-73, IX, 137-139), Griswold (Griswold, III, 283-292; Poe’s Works, XI, 147-160), Longfellow (Griswold, III, 292-334; Poe’s Works, XII, 41-106), a second paper on Longfellow (Griswold, III, 363-374; Poe’s Works, XI, 64-85), Mrs. Browning (Griswold, III, 401-424; Poe’s Works, XII, 1-35), and R. H. Horne (Griswold, III, 425-444; Poe’s Works, XI, 249-275). By an unhappy oversight, the last six paragraphs of the second of the two papers on the Davidson sisters (as published in Graham’s Magazine for December, 1841) are omitted in Poe’s Works (X, 226), thus making Griswold’s supposed irregularities in the case of this article appear much more serious than they actually are.

The paper on Mrs. Lewis (Griswold, in, 242-249; Poe’s Works, III, 215-225), for which no place of prior publication has hitherto been pointed out, appeared condensed and freely paraphrased in the sketch of Mrs. Lewis included by Griswold in his anthology of The Female Poets of America. The papers on Bayard Taylor and William Wallace, which Griswold prints as separate articles (in, 207-209, 240-241), were printed originally in the “Marginalia” (Poe’s Works, xvi, 145-148, 175-176).

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 96, running to the bottom of page 97:]

3.  In the case of the “Marginalia” the order adopted by Griswold is [page 97:] so radically different from that originally adopted as to present a veritable puzzle to one who would unravel the mystery of their arrangement. So far as I can discover, no logical system of arrangement has been followed by Griswold. It looks as though the separate items might have been thrown pell-mell into a basket and then taken out at haphazard and published in the order drawn.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 97:]

1.  See Woodberry, II, 96. In a notice of this projected work, in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier of July 25, 1846, moreover, the statement is made that it will “embrace the whole Union”; and a similar statement was made by Hirst in his sketch of Poe in the Saturday Museum.

2.  This point has been dwelt on by Professor Woodberry in his article in the Nation (December 4, 1902, p. 446).







[S:0 - KCMP, 1933] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Articles - The Mind of Poe and Other Studies (K. Campbell) (The Poe-Griswold Controversy)