Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848) (Nelson-Mabbott copy, with annotations), title page and table of contents


Title page:

Eureka (1848) - title page













Table of Contents


• [Dedication    iii]
• [Preface    v]
• [Section 01    7]
• [Section 02    22]
• [Section 03    37]
• [Section 04    52]
• [Section 05    63]
• [Section 06    81]
• [Section 07    95]
• [Section 08    112]
• [Section 09    128]



In the original book, Poe's main text runs as a single section, with no divisions. Here, we have broken it into smaller sections for the sake of improving the loading of the pages. There is also no table of contents in the original. One has been created here merely for purposes of convenience.

On the front flyleaf of this copy is the signature of Rufus Wilmot Griswold, followed by a note that the book was: “Poe's Private copy of Eureka.” Poe's annotations begin after the Preface. This copy also bears the very simple bookplate of Stephen H. Wakeman, giving his name only.

The copyright information, on the back of the title page, reads:

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,
In the Clerk's Office of the Distict Court for the Southern District of New-York

At the bottom left corner of the copygright page, the printer is identified as “LEAVITT, TROW & CO. Prs.,” at “33 Ann-street.”

The advertisement, bound in the back of the book with numerous other ads, reads simply: “Poe. — Eureka, A Prose Poem: Or the Physical and Metaphysical Universe. By Edgar A. Poe, Esq. Handsomely printed. 12mo cloth, 75 cents.”

This copy bears the bookplate of Frank J. Hogan, and two notes pencilled on the front inside cover of this copy (the first by William Nelson and the second by T. O. Mabbott) state:

E. A. Poes own Copy

With corrections & alterations in the handwriting of Poe.

See P 0   27, 29, 34, 37, 39, 44, 51, 54, 60, 61, 62, 67, 74, 75, 76, 78, 85, 88, 94, 97, 104, 100, 104, 102, 104, 106, 110, 118, 126, 127, 130, 131, 132, 140, 142, 143.

“Irradiate” & “irradiating” changes on 25 pages to “radiate” and “radiating” & others — W. Nelson

N. B. A careful comparison of these verbal changes shows that they are tho’ less numerous, yet in the main identical with cahnges to be found in the Bishop Hurst copy of Eureka, which Poe revised later. A very few intermediate readings occur. The versions are in every way similar to those in Poe's 1845 J. Lorimer Graham copy and the others he revised, and I am certain of the hand — except in the change on p. 12, which I cannot think Poe's, since it is not appropriate, nor does the writing resemble the other changes. The first fly-leaf was torn out when I got the book in 1923. I would request that editors referring to the readings, call this the Nelson-Mabbott copy. Thomas Ollive Mabbott.

The “change on p. 12,” to which Mabbott refers is a note written along the outer margin that reads “miserable wit.” That commentary has not been added to the changes here. Nelson's list of changes includes mostly verbal changes other than the general modification of “irradiate” to “radiate,” etc. The first change occurs at the end of section 01.

Among the many minor changes made by Poe in this copy, he generally changes “upon” to “on” and “irradiation” to “radiation.” He also extends the use of the phrase “the Universe of Stars” in places that previously referred only to “the Universe.” In addition, Poe makes numerous changes in capitalization of individual words, both for consistency and for emphasis. Although the changes are less extensive than in the presumably later changes of the Hurst-Wakeman copy, the changes made here were generally carried forward into that annotated copy as well.


[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Editions - Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848)