Text: John Esten Cooke, Poe as a Literary Critic, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1946


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MS page by J. E. Cooke [thumbnail]

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An unpublished essay on Edgar Allan Poe, written by a man who had met him face to face, has obvious value. And when the man was himself a popular story-teller, a novelist of considerable reputation, the value of his impressions of his more famous contemporary becomes even more obvious. Moreover, John Esten Cooke’s hitherto overlooked essay on Poe contains opinions held by a large portion of the literate, respectable America of Poe’s own day, or, to be precise, of the day a little after Poe’s death.

Both the internal evidence of the manuscript itself and the external evidence about it seem to indicate that it was written not long after the appearance of Rufus Wilmot Griswold’s edition of Poe’s works, including the now widely discredited biographical memoir. For a time there was no way to check the spreading of the Reverend Griswold’s rancorous misstatements. Only after the more factual, more scholarly, and more judicious biographical writings on Poe had penetrated the American reading public could a clear picture of the man and a just estimate of his work be obtained. It is to the credit of John Esten Cooke that when he was preparing his essay for possible publication he subjected it to careful revision, modifying his ­[page vi:] original opinions, toning down his harsh adjectives, and entirely eliminating passages which trailed clouds of Griswold.

Exactly when the paper was written is uncertain. That Mr. Cooke offered an article on Poe to Sartain’s, Godey’s and other periodicals, we know from his journal. Professor John O. Beaty, who has studied carefully all the extant Cooke manuscripts and letters, indicates that these submissions presumably took place late in 1851 and early in 1852. (See John Esten Cooke, Virginian. Columbia University Press, 1922, p. 29.) The article was rejected. Whether is [[it]] was the essay now published by the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore cannot be stated with any degree of certainty; the likelihood is that it was.

The provenance of the manuscript is clear enough.

Engaged in the preparation of a book on Poe, I was fortunate in obtaining the privilege to examine the remarkable collection of Poe material owned by Mr. William H. Koester of Baltimore. Dr. John C. French — one of the founders and now the Honorary President of the Poe Society — accompanied me. Among the various items I noticed a brown cloth-covered box bearing a label which proclaimed, in gold letters, “John Esten Cooke MS. ‘Poe, A[[s a]] Literary Critic’ Unpublished.” Within ­[page vii:] the box I found twenty-two pages, 8 x 5, of neatly written script. Mr. Koester kindly consented to my borrowing the manuscript for the purpose of comparing its handwriting with that of some Cooke letters preserved in the Sidney Lanier room at the Johns Hopkins University library. Dr. French agreed with me that the handwriting in both the manuscript and the letters of Cooke is unmistakably the same. Subsequently I examined also the letters and papers in the Cooke collection at the Library of Congress, and was convinced beyond a doubt that the essay in the Koester Collection is in the handwriting of John Esten Cooke.

As a result of correspondence and research I have learned that the manuscript had originally been bequeathed by its author to his son, Dr. Robert P. P. Cooke, who sold it to Colonel Nathan Wallack of Washington, D. C., who in turn disposed of it to Mr. David Randall, of the Scribner Book Store, New York, in exchange for another manuscript. Mr. Randall later sold it to a Baltimorean, Mr. Joseph Katz, from whom Mr. William H. Koester purchased it.

The major value of the essay is, of course, the added light it sheds on Poe, but it is also a far from negligible item in the literary remains of a writer whom at least one historian of Southern literature, Professor Carl Holliday, listed, a short generation ­[page viii:] ago, as “Perhaps the most widely known and most popular novelist the South has ever had.” John Esten Cooke was born in 1830 and died in 1886. His entire life was spent in Virginia and most of his writings dealt with his native state. His literary labors were prodigious, and included the publishing of no less than thirty-one books and hundreds of shorter contributions in such periodicals as The Southern Literary Messenger, Putnam’s, Harper’s, Appleton’s, and Leslie’s. He wrote poetry, fiction, biography, history, and literary criticism. Such works as The Virginia Comedians (1854), Surrey of Eagle’s Nest (1886), and Virginia, a history (1883), are still remembered.

One of the things that attracted my attention in Cooke’s hitherto unpublished essay was his reaction to Poe’s lecture given in Richmond in 1849. This reaction does not materially differ from that recorded by another person who heard that lecture, the late Professor Basil Gildersleeve, who, as a young man, had listened eagerly to Poe’s reading of the poems listed by Cooke and had come away disappointed. Professor Gildersleeve had retained the impression that Poe’s “voice was pleasant enough, but he emphasized the rhythm unduly. . . .” And now we have Cooke’s corroborating impression that Poe had a “wonderfully clear and musical voice” but that he read in an “objectionable ‘sing-song.’ ” ­[page ix:]

That the essay here printed has never been publish before is reasonably certain. Professor Beaty mentions the rejection of an article on Poe but not an acceptance; and no such item appears in his rather extensive bibliography. Nor does anything remotely resembling any writing on Poe appear in Oscar Wegelin’s Bibliography of the Separate Writings of John Esten Cooke, published in 1941.

I have chosen to present the text of the revised version, since it, rather than the original draft, represents Mr. Cooke’s considered judgment of Poe as a literary critic. Moreover, that is the version Mr. Cooke had obviously intended for publication. The first version, however, has its own values, and wherever parts of it have been superseded by later text, the original parts are printed in the “Notes.” As already intimated, most of the revisions were apparently made in an attempt to modify the harshness of first judgment on Poe’s personality and conduct; a few seem to have been made for stylistic reasons only. These latter I have not felt necessary to indicate, unless the wording was materially changed.

In the preparation of this little volume for publication I am indebted, first of all, to Mr. William H. Koester, the owner of the manuscript, for permission to print it, and for his courtesy and co-operation ­[page x:] in general; to the librarian of the Division of Manuscripts, the Library of Congress, for making available to me the excellent collection of John Esten Cooke letters and other manuscript material; to Dr. John C. French for invaluable suggestions and general encouragement; and, last, to the Executive Committee of the Poe Society, whose cheerful sponsorship has made publication possible.


The Johns Hopkins University
  July 1, 1946

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In the latter part of 1849 the citizens of Richmond, Virginia, saw passing to and fro in the street a notable-looking stranger whose personal appearance at once invited attention.(1) He was a man a little under the medium height, slender, active, graceful in all his movements, and with quiet and scrupulously courteous manner. The face was a singular one. As he passed, you unconsciously turned round to look again at him. The complexion was pale, almost sallow. The brow was broad, rather than high, and edged by short dark hair circling around the temples which were strongly developed. The eyes were dark and piercing; the nose well shaped; the upper lip disappeared under a heavy black mustache which concealed the entire expression of the mouth.(2) His dress was plain, neat, and in perfectly good taste.(3)

This notable personage was the famous Edgar A. Poe, the author of “The Raven,” of a wonderful series of “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” and of some of the fiercest, most savage, and ­[page 2:] most unfair literary criticism ever published in America. He was then on his last visit to Richmond, where he had commenced his literary career nearly twenty years before as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, and the object of his visit was to deliver his lecture on “The Poetic Principle,” which I had the pleasure of hearing. The lecturer stood in a graceful attitude, leaning one hand on a small table beside him, and his wonderfully clear and musical voice speedily brought the audience under its spell. Those who heard this strange voice once, never afterwards forgot it. It was certainly unlike any other that I have ever listened to: and the exquisite, if objectionable “sing-song,” as he repeated “The Raven,” Hood’s “Fair Inez” and other verse, resembled music. It would be impossible indeed to convey any idea of the manner in which he uttered the line from Shelley “I arise from dreams of thee,” or of his low and awestruck tones full of nameless horror, when he repeated from his “Raven”

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Filled me, thrilled me with fantastic terrors never felt before!(4) ­[page 3:]

The lecture ended in the midst of applause, and Poe disappeared soon afterwards, going northward — to fall a victim in Baltimore to disease and die suddenly.(5)

Each chance encounter with remarkable persons is apt to individualize one’s views concerning them; and the personnel of a human being generally illustrates his mental and moral character. In the case of Mr. Poe this rule seemed to be reversed. He impressed you as a gentle, kindly and altogether amiable person, and yet — to sum up the truth concerning him in a single phrase — he was none of these.(6) But with his mere personal character and his shifting, unsettled career, this paper has no concern.(7) ­[page 4:]

Of his literary character however we have a right to speak, and may do so without being charged with malice or unkindness. Every author surrenders his intellectual organization as manifested in his published writings to the scrutiny of the world; and the “critical” writings of Mr. Poe are so much the more fairly amenable to this nomination and dissection, since he was himself a most bitter and unscrupulous critic, sparing nobody, and scattering on all sides the poisoned and flaming arrows of his invective.

In this character — that of the literary critic — Mr. Poe seems not to have attracted proportionate attention. His wonderful genius as a weird poet, and story teller, has dazzled everybody. Of these poems and narratives — “The Raven,” “Lenore,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Gold Bug,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia” and other strange fictions — there can be but one opinion: that they are the productions of a remarkable mind. They in fact elude description — especially the prose narratives — and are a “new sensation.” For a wondrous power of analysis, a weird and strange fancy, and a startling combination of the supernatural and the matter-of-fact, they are probably unsurpassed, if indeed they have been equalled by any other writer ­[page 5:] in any country. They are sui generis and “due to none.” The bitterest enemies of the author — and he had some as bitter as ever man had — were and are compelled to recognize in these works the presence of a vast and sombre genius, unclassified and defying classification.

Such a classification is certainly not meant to be attempted here. The object of this brief paper will be to speak of Mr. Poe as a literary critic, in which character he is far more intelligible — and certainly an altogether different personage. In his poems and wild narratives — take as an illustration “Arthur Gordon Pym” — he is a sort of Merlin(8) wandering away into the strange world of dreams, and his figure is lost sight of in mists peopled with phantoms, evoked by a wave of his shadowy(9) wand. In his literary criticisms he is Mr. Edgar A. Poe of Philadelphia or New York, a man of flesh and blood, a commonplace editor of commonplace journals, with bitter dislikes, strong admirations; a writer of squibs; ambitious of praise from people far inferior to him; a warm friend sometimes — often a bitter enemy.(10) To those unacquainted ­[page 6:] with Mr. Poe’s writings these charges may seem exaggerated and unkind. Unfortunately they are just, and are stated less strongly than the truth would warrant. It is impossible to read the series of criticisms collected in his works under the title The Literati, and fail to see that invective is the author’s favorite style. He searches for weak points in every writer, completely discarding, it would seem, the just maxim that true criticism is appreciation; and when the failing is found, the critic pounces upon it with obvious pleasure, enforces it without mercy, and generally winds up his criticism with some stinging jest full of bitterness and contempt for the writer he is reviewing[[.]](11) You read all this with a sort of wonder, asking yourself why Mr. Poe assumed this Ishmael-like character. He was charged with envy indeed — which seems incredible in a man of such genius — and one who knew him well and admired him greatly said that his cheek grew pale at praise of others.

Another explanation is that he fancied a critic should be severe, and we certainly find in his Literati a prevailing tone of depreciation, and the ­[page 7:] severity of a judge reciting the crimes of a prisoner before pronouncing sentence. Take an example or two. Of Mr. William Ellery Charming’s poems, he writes — “His book contains about sixty three things which he calls poems, and which he no doubt seriously supposes so to be. They are full of all kinds of mistakes, of which the most important is that of their having been printed at all!”(12) This would seem to be a sufficient annihilation of the unfortunate Mr. Channing, but his critic adds that the poet is of the “Bobby Button School” and that “nobody ever heard of him.” Mr. Poe’s critical notices abound in similar sneers, in which the writer seems struggling to express his contempt.(13) Often the hostility is conveyed in a phrase, or negligent “fling” at his subject, as where he gravely speaks of “Mr. Thomas Dunn Brown” — not even hinting at the fact that he is referring to Mr. Thomas Dunn English.(14) Over Mr. Headley’s ­[page 8:] work on the Sacred Mountains of Holy Writ he makes merry, after a grim fashion:(15) representing the author as standing up gravely and solemnly before each famous mountain and making a speech about it!

His commendation of certain writers seemed to be arbitrary and to result from personal feeling, like his denunciation. He praised warmly sometimes, but there was no certainty that he would not denounce the same book or author a month afterwards, or commend after assailing.(16) Quoting the criticism of an English writer that Bulwer was “the most accomplished writer of the most accomplished era of English letters,” he says “Mr. Ward . . . could never have put to paper in his sober senses anything as absurd as the paragraph quoted above, without stopping at every third word to hold his sides or thrust his pocket handkerchief into his mouth. As a novelist Bulwer is far more than respectable, though generally inferior to Scott, Godwin, D’Israeli, Miss Burney, Sue, Dumas, ­[page 9:] Dickens, the author of ‘Ellen Wareham’ and the author of ‘Jane Eyre’ and several others. From the list of foreign novels I could select a hundred which he could neither have written or conceived. . . . His ‘Athens’ has all the happy air of an Etonian prize-essay, revamped. His essays leave no doubt on anybody’s mind that they are essays indeed. His criticism is really beneath contempt.”(17)

This would seem to indicate Mr. Poe’s opinion of Lord Lytton with distinctness: but he returns to the subject and writes — “We have long learned to reverence the fine intellect of Bulwer. We take up any production of his pen with a positive certainty that, in reading it, the wildest passions of our nature, the profoundest of our thoughts, the brightest visions of our fancy, and the most ennobling and lofty of our aspirations will, in due time, be enkindled within us. From the brief tale to the most ponderous and labored of his novels all is richly and glowingly intellectual — all is energetic, or astute, or brilliant, or profound. . . . Viewing him as a novelist he is unsurpassed by any writer living or dead. Who is there uniting in one person the imagination, the passion, the humor, the energy, the knowledge of the heart, the artist-like eye, the originality, the fancy, and the ­[page 10:] learning of Edward Lytton Bulwer? In a vivid wit — in profundity and a Gothic massiveness of thought, in style — in a calm certainty and definiteness of purpose — in industry — and above all in the power of controlling and regulating by volition his illimitable faculties of mind — he is unequalled — he is unapproached.”(18)

Was Mr. Poe jesting?(19)

In his desultory career as a magazine writer — in which he often forgot today what he wrote yesterday — Mr. Poe occasionally betrayed some of the secrets of his literary work-shop, and laid bare to the public the heart of his own mystery. In “How to Write a Blackwood Article” he makes the editor of that magazine say to Miss Psyche Zenobia, the aspiring authoress, “Above all it is necessary that ­[page 11:] your article have an air of erudition, or at least afford evidence of extensive general reading. I’ll put you in the way of accomplishing this point. See here! — by casting your eye down almost any page of any book in the world, you will be able to perceive at once a host of little scraps of either learning or bel-espirit-ism, which are the very thing for the spicing of a Blackwood article. You might as well note down a few while I read them to you. I shall make two divisions; first, Piquant Facts for the Manufacture of Similes; and second, Piquant Expressions to be introduced as occasion may require. . . . You may make a great deal of that little fact. You see, it is not generally known, and looks recherché. You must be careful and give the thing with a downright improviso air!”(20)

This advice, satirically attributed to Mr. Blackwood, Mr. Poe gravely followed, as his voluminous “notebooks,” “Marginalia” and other similar collections of scraps indicate. He seems to have carefully gleaned from almost every book which he read, whatever might prove useful to him — in which there was certainly nothing to find fault with — and these facts, quotations, and “little scraps” he afterwards introduced into his writings with the “downright improviso air” which he recommends. ­[page 12:] His object seems to have been to attain the reputation of a man of vast reading and erudition. An instance is given:

“Now the words of Ezekiel are — Venathati eth-har Seir lesh immanah ushemamah vehichrati mimmennu over vasal: literally Venathati, and I will give; eth-har, the mountain; Seir, Seir, etc.’ I am sustained in the translation of over vasal by Gesenius S 5 — vol 2 — p. 570, Leo’s Trans. There is something analogous in the Hebrew-Greek phrase at Acts, 9:28 (the Greek passage is quoted). The Latin versatus est is precisely paraphrastic” — “He must use a silk cord as they do in Spain with all grandees of the blue blood, the sangre azula.” — “Pour savoir ce qu’est Dieu,” says Belefeld, “il faut être Dieu même.”(21)

These extracts are taken from two consecutive pages, and convey the impression that Mr. Poe was familiar with Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, and French — which is doubtful. He probably enjoyed the grave discussion of the Hebrew passage in Ezekiel, and laughed as he intimated that he was sustained by Gesenius! Of this industrious manner in which he used his voluminous notebooks, introducing their contents with the “downright improviso air” of a writer drawing on his memory, only, his works generally contain the evidence. ­[page 13:]

Nothing pleased this man of genius, busying himself with small things, more than minute criticism and dissection of the style of some eminent writer. He seemed to relish highly this apparent sitting in judgment. The tone of the judge addressing the criminal was pleasant to him. “This passage,” he seemed to say, “appears to you, Sir, who read it carelessly, a very fine passage indeed — but let me show you how blundering it is, and how easily I could improve it.”(22) An instance is given in which he arraigns Lord Macaulay at the bar. The following paragraph from Macaulay is selected for dissection:

“Government is to Mr. Southey one of the fine arts. He judges of a theory as a public measure, of a religion, a political party, a peace or a war, as men judge of a picture or a statue, by the effect produced on his imagination. A chain of associations is to him what a chain of reasoning is to other men; and what he calls his opinions are in fact merely his tastes.”(23)

This passage will probably be regarded as sufficiently clear, vigorously written, and if marked by the mannerism of its great author, still excellent English. Mr. Poe considers it “inaccurate, pleonastic, ­[page 14:] awkward, unpleasant and faulty”;(24) passes each phrase of the paragraph in review; and declares that it should have been written thus: —

“With Southey governing is a fine art. Of a theory or a public measure — of a creed, a political party, a peace or a war — he judges by the imaginative effect; as only such things as pictures or statues are judged of by other men. What to them a chain of reasoning is, to him is a chain of association; and as to his opinions they are nothing but his tastes.”

It is scarcely necessary to say that the original is more vigorous — it is certainly better English. To judge by the imaginative effect is an undesirable change of “the effect produced on his imagination”; — and what to them a chain of reasoning is violates the idiom of the language, and is certainly “awkward and unpleasant”: — terms applied by Mr. Poe to the original.

This brief criticism of a critic has not been inspired by malevolence or any desire to detract from Mr. Poe’s personal or literary reputation generally. His personal character has been scarcely ­[page 15:] touched upon; and the absurdest of all absurd things would be to call in question the genius of the man who wrote the “Raven,” “The Gold Bug” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Had Mr. Poe confined himself to poetry and the realm of weird fiction he would have remained an unapproachable master, ruling the domain of Wonderland without a rival. He did not confine himself to this high ground of letters, but descended into the valley to busy himself with the petty spites and rivalries of the hour, as a literary critic. He chose this character of a severe critic and assailed everybody. It is only fair that he should be criticised in turn, as a critic.


[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 1:]

(1)  The original text, before revision, read: “. . . rivetted the attention of all.”

(2)  Original text: “The eyes were dark and piercing; the nose well shaped; and the upper lip of the personage disappeared under a heavy black mustache. . . .”

(3)  “His dress was plain, neat, in excellent taste, and, like his bearing, indicated the ‘gentleman.’ ”

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 2:]

(4)  Evidently quoted from memory. The two lines should read (See Killis Campbell, Poems, p. 109):

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

[[For a list of all of the authorized versions of “The Raven,” with links, see this page.]]

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 3:]

(5)  This one[[-]]sentence paragraph originally read: “The lecture ended in the midst of general applause, and Poe disappeared soon afterwards, going northward — to fall a victim in Baltimore to a wild orgy and die suddenly.”

(6)  The word “kindly” after “gentle,” like the “yet” before the dash, was evidently an afterthought, for neither appears in the first version. However, the early draft did contain three adjectives later eliminated: “quiet, courteous, amiable.”

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 3, running to the bottom of page 4:]

(7)  Here Cooke made several attempts to break away from purely “personal” comments — all of them finally crossed out. As indicative of the severity with which he, viewed Poe’s personal lapses when he first wrote this paper, the following three sentences should be of interest: “His life had not only been wild, adventurous, shifting, unsettled — the life in one word of the literary Bohemian — it had also been discreditable. The term is the least severe that a conscientious critic of his career can employ. Let nothing be added to it, since after all there is much in the old Pagan maxim De mortuiis nil nisi bonum. Little “good” can be said in reference to the personal character and career of this ­[page 4:] wayward man of genius, — let silence be preserved, and let his many woful faults and shortcomings be buried in his tomb.”

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 5:]

(8)  The phrase, “he is a sort of Merlin,” is a later addition, in pencil.

(9)  “Shadowy” added in pencil.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 5, running to the bottom of page 6:]

(10)  The latter part of this sentence originally read: “with bitter dislikes, arbitrary admirations, a writer of squibs, of sneering attacks, ambitious of praise, desirous of the reputation of a profound and varied scholar sedulous to secure the commendation ­[page 6:] of people far inferior to him — a warm friend sometimes — but nearly always a bitter enemy.”

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 6:]

(11)  Earlier version: “and when the failing is found, the critic pounces upon it with obvious delight, exposes it with evident pleasure, and generally winds up his criticism with some stinging personal jest full of bitterness and contempt for his opponent, the writer he is reviewing.”

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 7:]

(12)  Apparently quoted from The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe. With a Memoir by Rufus Wilmot Griswold and Notices of his Life and Genius by N. P. Willis and J. R. Lowell (New York, 1850-1856). The quotation is from volume III, p. 229. The exclamation point at the end of the sentence is Mr. Cooke’s.

(13)  The revised version omits a qualifying statement, after “critical notices”: “if they may be seriously called such.”

(14)  This also refers to Poe’s article, one of The Literati, as printed in Griswold’s edition, Vol. III, pp. 101-104. Harrison reprinted it in his Virginia Edition, Vol. XV, under the title “Thomas Dunn English.”

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 8:]

(15)  The reference is to Poe’s review of J. T. Headley’s The Sacred Mountains, in The Literati (Griswold ed., pp. 249-253). The phrase “makes merry, after a grim fashion” is a substitution for “falls into ecstasies” in the first version.

(16)  The first two sentences of this paragraph originally read: “His commendation of certain writers seemed to be arbitrary and to result from personal motives, like his denunciation. This tone of approval was however not habitual with him on all occasions even when speaking of the same writers.”

[The following footnote appeara at the bottom of page 9:]

(17)  The quotations are from various parts of item XXXIV in the Marginalia, Griswold ed., pp. 503-504.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 10:]

(18)  This quotation is really a combination of excerpts from item CLXXIV in the Marginalia, Griswold ed., p. 560. A few downright misquotations are: “enobling” for “ennobling” (a trifling matter which would have infuriated Poe); “in due time” for “in due turn”; [[“]]the most ponderous and labored of his novels” for “his most ponderous and labored novels.” Mr. Cooke does not always bother to use dots to indicate the omission of passages from the quotation.

(19)  This brief query was followed by another paragraph which, on second thought, Mr. Cooke found unnecessary. The deleted paragraph read: “ Of the ‘Confessions of a Poet’ by Mr. Lord he writes ‘The book is silly enough. I have read it from beginning to end, and was very much ashamed of it.’ And in a second notice ‘The Confessions are quite remarkable for their artistic unity and perfection. I do not think that a better book of its kind has been written in America.”’

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 11:]

(20)  The quotation is in general correct, except for the omission of italics and some changes of Poe’s punctuation. See Tales and Poems, John H. Ingram edition, vol. 4, pp. 307-308. [[For the relevant text of the story, from the Griswold edition, see this page.]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 12:]

(21)  Quoted from item CXLI of Marginalia, Griswold ed., p. 547.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 13:]

(22)  “and how easily I could improve it” is a pencil insertion.

(23)  Quoted from “About Critics and Criticism: By the Late Edgar A. Poe.” Graham’s Magazine, Jan., 1850.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 14:]

(24)  The five adjectives, here lumped together as though they represent one summary judgment of Macaulay’s paragraph, are, as a matter of fact, five distinct judgments, each applicable to a particular phrase or sentence which Poe subjected to analysis. Mr. Cooke’s “macaronic” tendency has already been noted. [[For the full text of Poe’s review of Macaulay, from the Griswold edition, see this page.]]





[S:1 - PAALC, 1946] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Lectures - Poe as a Literary Critic (J. E. Cooke, 1946)