Edgar Allan Poe — “For Annie”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “For Annie” — Before March 23, 1849 — “Annie” manuscript — (Mabbott text A) (Manuscript currently in the Gimbel Collection, Philadelphia Free Public Library.) (Given by Poe to Annie Richmond in 1849; sold at auction by Libbie & Co. of Boston, February 3-5, 1892, item 1155 for $105 to William Nelson, of Patterson, NJ (presumably from Annie Richmond herself, or her family, and not from the collection of Rev. Thomas Raffles, as suggested by the title of the auction); sold by Stan V. Henkles Auctions (Philadelphia, PA) on May 7, 1903, item 958 to George H. Richmond (1849-1904), a bookdealer of New York, NY, for $425 from the collection of William Nelson (1847-1914); George H. Richmond, Sr died suddenly in 1904 in Short Hills, NJ, and the manuscript was presumably inherited by his son, George H. Richmond, Jr. (1874-1911), who died in March 1911 in New Jersey (it was listed for sale by G. H. Richmond in 1904 in a catalog of “Autograph Letters, Broadsides, MSS., etc.,” item 224, for $750); acquired by William Augustus Read, Sr. (1858-1916) and Caroline Hicks Seaman Read (1868-1929), sold at auction on Jan. 8-9, 1936 (item 311) by American Art Association for $3,200 to Gabriel Wells (1861-1946) (which means that Wells owned both the Richmond and Willis manuscripts of the poem); purchased prior to 1959 by Col. Richard Gimbel; donated to the Philadelphia Free Public Library in 1974) (The manuscript was somewhat damaged by fire while in the collection of William Nelson. On February 8, 1902, a fire began in a trolley car shed, which spread and eventually consumed 459 buildings, including the Free Public Library. A number of Nelson's materials were destroyed while many of the most important items survived in a safe, but were still affected by the extreme heat.) (Poe sent this manuscript to Annie Richmond, along with a letter, dated March 23, 1849.
  • Text-02 — “For Annie” — Before March 23, 1849
    • Text-02a — “For Annie” — Before March 23, 1849 — (speculated fair copy manuscript sent to the Flag of Our Union for publication. In his letter to Annie Richmond of March 23, 1849, Poe says that he has already sent the manuscript to the Flag of Our Union. Since the manuscript sent to Annie Richmond includes a byline, which would be unusual for an autograph, it is likely that what Poe sent her was the initial fair-copy, but that he slightly preferred the second fair-copy. If this is the case, he sent the better fair-copy for publication and gave Annie Richmond the earlier copy, no longer needed. This manuscript does not appear to have survived, but is presumably reflected in text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “For Annie” — April 28, 1849 — Flag of Our Union — (Mabbott text B) (There is no evidence that Poe was able to see and revise proofsheets of this text. The fairly minor differences from Text-01 presumably reflect changes that Poe made in copying out a new manuscript, Text-02a, to send to the publishers.) (Although the precise date was uncertain, this printing of the poem was long known to biographers based on Poe's April 20, 1849 letter to N. P. Willis, but no copy of the periodical was discovered until 1910, a bound file for the entire year found by George Parsons in the Library of Congress. Prior to this discovery, the only known text was that printed by Griswold in 1850.)
  • Text-03 — “For Annie” — April 1, 1849 — “Chester” manuscript (Poe sent this manuscript as part of a letter to Anson Gleason Chester, complying with the request for an autograph. The chain of known onwers is A. G. Chester (1827-1911); Elizur Kirke Hart (1841-1893); purchased by the J. K. Lilly Library at the University of Indiana about 1985, from heirs to the estate of E. K. Hart.) (This manuscript appears to mark the point when Poe switched the order of stanzas 4 and 5, a change retained in later texts. It was not discovered until several years after Mabbott's death and is thus not included in his bibliography or list of variants.)
  • Text-04 — “For Annie” — before April 20, 1849
    • Text-04a — “For Annie” — before April 20, 1849 — “Willis” manuscript — (incomplete as it now lacks the final two pages) (Mabbott text C) (Poe sent the manuscript to Willis with a letter, dated April 20, 1849, but he probably wrote out the manuscript about the time he sent the manuscript to A. G. Chester, Text-03, earlier in the month, and held it until he knew the Flag of Our Union was about to print the poem.) (The chain of ownership is presumably: Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867); Grinnell Willis (1848-1930) (the son of N. P. Willis); Gabriel Wells (1861-1946); Frederick William Allsopp (June 25, 1867–1946) (sold at auction by Parke-Bernet Galleries, NY, February 4, 1947, item 200); William Herman Koester (1888-1964); John Francis Flemming (1910-1987); William Edwin Self (1921-2010); the current owner is unlocated. (The manuscript was sold by Parke-Bernet in 1947 for $1,200, presumably from the estate of G. Wells. The buyer was probably W. H. Koester. The manuscript was sold by Christie's (NY) from the collection of W. E. Self on December 4, 2009 for $830,500. The estimate had been only $50,000-70,000, but many of the Poe items in this auction exceeded the estimates by a considerable amount. Self appears to have purchased the manuscript through Flemming. At some point, it was housed in a full orange morocco, silk-lined protective case, matching quarter morocco clamshell case. The pages of the manuscript measure 220 x 170 mm. It is likely that Flemming acquired the manuscript from the collection of William H. Koester as part of his commission for arranging the sale of Koester's collection to the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.) (It was purchased from the Self sale by Dr. Rodney Swantko, DDS (1940-2022), of Chicago. The Swantko library was offered for sale at auction by Sotheby's in New York on June 26, 2024 (item 28), with an estimtated value of $400,000-$600,000; it sold for $420,000 ($504,000 with buyer's premium))
    • Text-04b — “For Annie” — April 28, 1849 — Home Journal — (Mabbott text D) (There is no evidence that Poe saw or had the opportunity to correct proofsheets for this text.) (Poe appears to have sent a copy of this issue to E. H. N. Patterson, requesting a reprint, with Willis's introduction, but Patterson had already reprinted the poem on his own initiative. There is no reason to presume that this copy had manuscript revisions by Poe. For Patterson's reprint, see the entry under reprints, below. This printing was first noted by J. A. Harrison in his 1902 edition of Poe's poems, from a copy provided by William Frederick Dix (1867-1945), who was the editor of the Home Journal in 1901, after which it became Town and Country. Dix ceased to be an editor of the journal in 1906 when he became secretary of the Mutual Life Insurance Company.)
  • Text-05 — “For Annie” — about late May, 1849
    • Text-05a — “For Annie” — about late May, 1849 — manuscript or corrected copy sent to Griswold for PPA — (Poe sent the “perfect copy” of “For Annie” in a letter, along with a manuscript for “Annabel Lee.” As a long poem, a generally clean printing to use as a basis, with only a few small changes required, and no reason to hide the source, the original item was probably a copy of the Home Journal, with a minor correction written on it. This copy is now lost, but presumably recorded as Text-05b and Text-05c.)
    • Text-05b — “For Annie” — December 15, 1849 — Poets and Poetry of America (10th edition, dated 1850) — (Mabbott text F) (This text is presumably based on Text-05a, but with strenuously imposed house style, primarily the use of contracted words.)
    • Text-05c — “For Annie” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text G — This is Mabbott's copy-text) (As for Text-05b, this text is presumably based on Text-05a, but with less strenously imposed house style. In the absence of a surviving copy of Text-05a, this text probably is the best representation.)
  • Text-06 — about June 1849 — If we accept either the Examiner text or the claim of a manuscript given to Miss Talley, Poe appears to have made a second copy of the text sent to Griswold, for his own purposes, presumably with the intention of having a copy with him on his lecture tour of the South. This manuscript was similar to what he sent to Griswold, but with at least one additional change.
    • Text-06a — “For Annie” — September 26, 1849, text “H” — “Talley” manuscript, lost and not clearly recorded — (Mabbott text H, listed but with no text)  (In her 1878 article “The Last Days of Edgar A. Poe,” p. 714, Mrs. Weiss writes: “On the way I was met by Miss Poe, who delivered a note left for me by her brother, containing a MS. copy of ‘Annie,’ — a poem then almost unknown, and which I had expressed a wish to see.” It is certainly possible that Poe gave her the manuscript he had brought with him, no longer in need of it after the Examiner text had been prepared. Something similar appears to be what he did with the manuscript for “Ulalume” that he gave to Susan Ingram, and “Annabel Lee” that he gave to J. R. Thompson.)
    • Text-06b — “For Annie” — about September 1849 — Richmond Examiner proofsheets — (Mabbott text Z)



  • “For Annie” — July 31, 1849 — Daily Republican (Richmond, VA) (from the Home Journal) (see The Poe Log, p. 820-821)
  • For Annie” — May 16, 1849 — Oquawka Spectator — (Mabbott text E) (This reprint of the poem, from the Home Journal of April 28, 1849, appeared before Poe sent a copy to Patterson with a letter dated May 23, 1849.)
  • “For Annie” — October 20, 1849 — Greensborough Patriot (Greensborough, NC), vol. XI, no. 27, p. 1, cols. 2-3 (acknowledged as from the Home Journal)
  • “For Annie” — 1852 — Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Humour; and Poems, London: Henry Vizetelly (An undated edition appears about the same time, published by Charles H. Clark and Samuel Orchart Beeton, and their name appears as publisher for the second series), first series pp. 252-255. (with no woodcut illustration) (this poem was omitted in some later printings)
  • For Annie” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:32-34)
  • “Over at Last” — August 6, 1885 — Hicksville News (Hicksville, OH), vol. XI, no. 50, p. 2, col. 1 (acknowledged as by “Edgar A. Poe,” but with a new title and given in a truncated form, providing only seven stanzas.)
  • “Over at Last” — August 27, 1885 — The Eye (Oberlin, Kansas), vol. II, no. 52, p. 6, col. 1 (acknowledged as by “Edgar A. Poe”, and with the unusual change of the title.)
  • “Over at Last” — September 3, 1885 — Knox County Democrat (Edina, MO), vol. XV, no. 14, p. 6, col. 5 (acknowledged as by “Edgar A. Poe”, and also with the unusual change of the title.)
  • “For Annie” — March 15, 1895 — The Telephone (Tahlequah, Indian Territory, OK), vol. VIII, no. 9, p. 3, cols. 2-3 (printed without Poe's name or source, but with the introductory note: “This was addressed to a lady, full of Virtues and gentlness — who had evinced a sister='s affection for the poet and his household.)
  • “For Annie” — April 23, 1899 — St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri), vol. 50, no. 251, p. 42, col. 5 (acknowledged as by “Edgar A. Poe”.)
  • “For Annie” — October 21, 1905 — Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), vol. CXXXVII, no. 158, p. 7, across cols. 4-5 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” under the general heading of “Gems From the Poets” and with the brief introductory note: “Readers of Poe's poems are impressed with the tone of regret and hopelessness that pervades them all. ‘No more, no more’ is their constant refrain. The poet's mind is occupied incessantly with sorrow for ‘the lost Lenore;’ with him ‘the light of life is o’er.’ Death is much in his thoughts, and he seems fascinated with its horrors. In the following stanzas of the poem ‘For Annie,’ he represents life as a ‘fever,’ a period of suffering, and death as a happy recovery, bringing keen delight.”)
  • “For Annie” — January 21, 1909 — Santa Cruz News (Santa Cruz, CA), vol. III, no. 68, p. 3, col. 3 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe”.)
  • “For Annie” — May 1909 — Bibliophile (London, UK), (a facsimile of the full manuscript is given in an article by J. H. Ingram, pp. 134-135. It should be noted that the facsimile fails to reproduce a number of small matters of punctuation.)
  • “For Annie” — October 16, 1910 — Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), vol. CXLVII, no. 153, p. 12, col. 7 (printed as part of an article about the discovery of a file of the Flag of Our Union, although mis-stated as being from 1847 rather than 1849, but with the correct year for the individual poems. The article implies that a new edition of the “Virginia Poe” edition was being planned by the publishers, although no new edition appeared.)
  • “For Annie” — March 16, 1917 — Mansfield News (Mansfield, OH), vol. XXIII, no. 9, p. 13, across cols. 5-6 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” and with the brief introductory note: “This is one of Poe's most admired poems. It was written in 1849. In a letter to one of his correspondents named Annie, whom he held in affectionate regard, Poe wrote: ‘I think the lines ‘For Annie’ (those I now send) much the best I have ever written but an author can seldom depend on his own estimate of his own works so I wish to know what my Annie truly thinks of them.’ ”)
  • “For Annie” — April 1959 — Col. Richard Gimbel, “Quoth the Raven: An Exhibition of the Works of Edgar Allan Poe,” Yale University Library Gazette, vol. 33, no. 4 (facing p. 178) (prints a photographic facsimile of the first two-thirds of the manuscript)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • For Annie” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:90-93, and 10:195)
  • For Annie” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:111-114, and 10:216)
  • For Annie” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 74-77, and pp. 240-241)
  • For Annie” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 129-133, and pp. 287-291)
  • “For Annie” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (pp. 118-122, and pp. 283-286)
  • For Annie” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:452-461)
  • “For Annie” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 98-100) (reprints the text from Works, 1850)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (“Annie” MS and Flag of Our Union)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (“Annie” MS and “Chester” MS)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (“Chester” MS, “Willis” MS and Home Journal)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (“Willis” MS and Home Journal) (The typesetters of the Home Journal appear to have followed Poe's manuscript very closely, with only a few commas as differences)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (Home Journal and WORKS)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (PPA and WORKS)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (WORKS and Examiner proofsheets)
  • For Annie” — Comparative Text (All, except PPA)


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Gold-Gift” — January 16, 1854 — Daily Evening Star (Washington, DC), (signed as by “E. A. P.” but clearly a kind of parody, quoting the first stanza of Poe's poem, with the title cited. Milton Slocumb Latham is mocked in regard to the gold rush.)
  • “Pour Annette” — 1862 — Contes inedts d‘Edgar Poe, Paris: J. Hetzel, pp. 309-314 (French translation by William L. Hughes)
  • “[For Annie]” — September 22, 1881 — Eureka Herald (Eureka, KS), vol. XIV, no. 12, p. 1, col. 1 (two stanzas of Poe's poem are used to begin an article about the death of President James A. Garfield. Poe is not mentioned, and the title for the article is simply “Dead.”)
  • “Pour Annie” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)



  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Hogue, L. Lynn, “Eroticism in Poe's ‘For Annie’,” Emerson Society Quarterly, Fall 1970, 60:85-87
  • Ingram, John H., “Variations in Edgar Poe's Poetry,” Bibliophile (London, UK), vol. III, May 1909, pp. 128-136.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.
  • Robbins, J. Albert, “A New Manuscript of Poe's ‘For Annie’,” Studies in Bibliography: Papers of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1986, 39:261-265


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - For Annie