The Complete Works of the Edgar Allan Poe (Harrison Edition)


James Albert Harrison (1848-1911) was a professor of English at the University of Virginia. For the volume of poems, the notes were prepared by Charles William Kent (1860-1917). The bibliographical study and textual analyses for the tales were done by Robert Armistead Stewart (1877-1950). Indeed, these notes were successfully submitted by Stewart as his doctoral disseration, for which his Ph.D. was granted on June 12, 1901. (It was noted at the time that he was the youngest person to whom such a degree had been awarded by the university.)

A revised edition was first proposed and publicized in 1910 (to be done under the supervision of Robert Armistead Stewart)(see Baltimore Sun, October 16, 1910, p. 12, col. 7). On the title page of a 1911 selection of Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, (Richmond: B. F. Johnson Publishing Co., Robert Armistead Stewart is listed as “Editor of the Revised Edition of the Virginia Poe (Harrison) and Associate Professor in Richmond College.” In this edition, there is a note that appears at the end of the “Introduction,” stating that “A full Bibliography will be found in the Virginia Edition of the Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. (T. Y. Crowell & Co). (Revised edition to appear in 1912)” (see p. 28). The revised edition apparently never materialized, perhaps because the market was already flooded with various ten-volume editions. When AMS Press reprinted the set in 1965, they used the original 1902 edition.

The Complete Works of the Edgar Allan Poe (edited by J. A. Harrison) (1902)

   • Volume I:   Biography
   • Volume II:   Tales - Part I   (“MS. Found in a Bottle,” etc.)
   • Volume III:   Tales - Part II   (“Narrative of A. Gordon Pym,” etc.)
   • Volume IV:   Tales - Part III   (“The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion,” etc.)
   • Volume V:   Tales - Part IV   (“The Mystery of Marie Roget,” etc.)
   • Volume VI:   Tales - Part V   (“The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.,” etc.)
   • Volume VII:   Poems
   • Volume VIII:   Criticism - Part I   (Early Criticism, January 1835-July 1836)
   • Volume IX:   Criticism - Part II   (Early Criticism, May 1836-January 1837)
   • Volume X:   Criticism - Part III   (Middle Period, October 1837-December 1841)
   • Volume XI:   Criticism - Part IV   (Middle Period, January 1842-December 1844)
   • Volume XII:   Criticism - Part V   (Later Criticism, January 1845-November 1, 1845)
   • Volume XIII:   Criticism - Part VI   (Later Criticism, November 22, 1845-1849)
   • Volume XIV:   Essays and Miscellanies   (“Palaestine,” “Maelzel's Chess-Player,” etc.)
   • Volume XV:   Literati and Autography
   • Volume XVI:   Marginalia and Eureka (and general index) (see additional indicies, below)
   • Volume XVII:   Letters   (Poe and His Friends; Letters Relating to Poe)

Harrison suggests that he had consistently gone back to Poe's original texts, but in many instances it is evident that the text printed by Griswold was adopted. For a few of the letters, manuscripts noted as “Griswold Collection” are actually from other sources. (It cannot be determined whether this error occurred due to poor note-taking or was merely a convenient means of avoiding copyright issues with Ingram, who was still alive in 1902 and as tempermental as ever.)

Although the title boasts that it is a “Complete” collection of Poe's works, no truly complete collection has ever been printed. Many items, generally minor editorial matter but also two installments of Marginalia, are not included by Harrison, and he includes a number of reviews which are no longer attributed to Poe, most notably the highly controversial review of  Paulding and Drayton's books on Slavery (SLM, April 1836).

An alternative index to the volumes II-XVI was prepared in 1968 by Burton R. Pollin (Dictionary of Names and Titles in Poe's Collected Works, New York: Da Capo Press). Burton Pollin also created an additional index of “Place Names in Poe's Creative Writings” (Poe Studies, December 1973, vol. VI, no. 2, pp. 43-48).

Still another alternative index to the volumes VIII-XV (and the “Marginalia” portion of volume XVI) was prepared in 1966 by J. Lasley Dameron and Louis Charles Stagg (An Index to Poe's Critical Vocabulary, Hartford, CT: Transcendental Books).


Bibliographic Data:

16mo and 12mo (7 1/2 in x 4 5/8 in also 7 3/8 in x 4 9/16 in)


A Chronology of Printings and Reprintings:

  • Thomas Y. Crowell and Co. (New York)
    • 1902 - volumes I-XVII (first printing - The Virginia Edition, bound in quarter leather, limp leather or cloth) (advertised in Publisher's Weekly on September 13, 1902). (At the same time, the set was issued in a larger format deluxe edition, with additional illustrations, bound in red cloth or leather. The larger format has a larger page size, but the identical text and font size as the smaller edition, with more generous margins.)
    • 1902 - reprint of volumes I-XVII, but bound as eleven volumes. (To create the eleven volumes from the original seventeen, the five volumes of tales are condensed into four and a half, with the final volume also combining the poems. The six volumes of criticims are combinded into three. The volume of essays is combined with “Literati” and “Autography.”)
    • 1902 - The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (separate printing of volume VII)
    • 1902 - The Miscellaneous Essays of Edgar Allan Poe (separate printing of volume XIV)
    • 1903 - The Life and Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (separate printing of volumes I and XVII. Volume I has been supplemented by the bibliography from volume XVI, and volume II has a new appendix with some additional material.)
  • George D. Sproul (New York)
    • 1902 - volumes I-XVII (reprint of volumes I-XVII - The Monticello Edition, limited to 1,000 copies)
  • Society of English and French Literature (New York)
    • 1902 or 1903 - volumes I-XVII (reprint of volumes I-XVII - limited to 1,000 copies, and featuring a hand colored frontispiece in each volume.) (8 vo. - 8 1/2 in x 5 5/8 in)
  • Fred De Fau
    • 1902 - reprint of volumes I-XVII, but bound as 11 volumes.
  • University Society (New York)
    • 1902 - reprint of volumes I-XVII, but bound as 11 volumes. (no date on title page, but presumably 1902)
  • Desmond Publishing Company (of Boston, MA)
    • undated, about 1902-1908 - reprint of volumes I-XVII, but consolidated into 12 volumes. (The contents of the 17 volumes volumes have been reduced by dropping all of the notes and introductory material, omitting the volume of biography and letters, and combining the volumes of criticism into three, as Early, Maturer and Later Criticism.) It is noted as the Memorial Edition, and retains the illustrations. There is no imprint date on the title page, and only the 1902 copyright date is cited, crediting Thomas Y. Crowell. (Desmond may be best known for being arrested at the end of November in 1903 for proposing to publish an edition of Boccacio's “Decameron,” which was considered obscene, although that judgment had already been overturned by the New York Supreme Court in 1894.)
  • A. M. S. Press
    • 1965 - reprint of the Virginia Edition (although omitting many of the illustrations) (The AMS reprint photographically enlarges the font size slightly from the original, making each volume both a little easier to handle and to read)
    • 1979 - reprint of the Virginia Edition (with a special introduction by Floyd Stovall)
  • Geodesic Library  
    • 2001 - a reprint of the Virginia Edition in the form of a CD-R (using the Adobe PDF format, with hyperlinks, produced by Claudie Holstein)
  • Miscellaneous Publishers  
    • ... and others. (various publishers were allowed to reprint the volumes.)


Census of Copies:

There are so many surviving copies of these volumes that a listing is impractical and unnecessary. The most important copy of the set is probably the one which belonged to Thomas Ollive Mabbott. In the ample margins, Mabbott wrote notes and accumulated scraps of paper, so that the volumes served as a kind of file cabinet of material. These notes later became the basis of many brief articles published by Mabbott and eventually coalescing as the first three volumes of his projected Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe. (This set is now part of the Mabbott Collection at the University of Iowa.) Burton R. Pollin carefully copied these notes in another set of Harrision, for his own reference. (Pollin's set is now in the Berg Collection, New York Public Library.)



  • Blanck, Jacob, “Edgar Allan Poe,” Bibliography of American Literature; volume 7: James Kirke Paulding to Frank Richard Stockton, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983. (Volume 7 is edited and completed by Virginia L. Smyers and Michael Winship.)
  • Capace, Nancy, “Harrison, James Albert,” Encyclopedia of Mississippi, Somerset, 2000, pp. 225-227.
  • Dameron, J. Lasley and Louis Charles Stagg, An Index to Poe's Critical Vocabulary, Hartford, CT: Transcendental Books, 1966. (This index is keyed to the Harrison volumes)
  • Hatvary, George Egon, “The Whereabouts of Poe's ‘Fifty Suggestions’,” Poe Studies, IV, No. 2, December 1971, p. 47.
  • Heartman, Charles F and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 1943, pp. 129-133. (Reprinted, Millwood, New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1977.)
  • Henneman, J. B., “The Virginia Edition of Poe,” Sewanee Review, vol. II, no. 1, January 1903, pp. 104-108.
  • O’Neill, Edward H., “The Poe-Griswold-Harrison Texts of the ‘Marginalia’,” American Literature, XV, November 1943, pp. 238-250.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, volume I: Poems (1902); volumes II & III: Tales and Sketches (1978), Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  • Mathews, Alfred, “The Virginia Poe,” New York Times Saturday Review of Books and Art, September 13, 1902.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Introduction: Marginalia,” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe; volume 2: The Brevities, New York: Gordian Press, 1985, pp. xv-xxii.
  • Pollin, Burton R., Dictionary of Names and Titles in Poe's Collected Works, New York: Da Capo Press, 1968. (This index is keyed to the Harrison volumes)
  • Pollin, Burton R., “The Provenance and Correct Text of Poe's Review of Griswold's Female Poets of America,” Poe Newsletter, April 1969, Vol. II, No. 2, 2:35-36
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Place Names in Poe's Creative Writings,” Poe Studies, December 1973, vol. VI, no. 2, pp. 43-48. (This index is keyed to the Harrison volumes)
  • Quinn, Arthur Hobson, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1941.
  • Stewart, Col. William H, “Robert Armistead Stewart,” History of Norfolk County, Virginia and Representative Citizens, Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Company, 1902, pp. 651-652. (Interestingly, Col. Stewart was Robert's father, and Robert was his only child.)
  • Woodberry, George E. (assigned as writer of this anonymous review by Killis Campbell), Nation, December 4, 1902, p. 445-447.



[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Editions - Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Harrison)