Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. John H. Ingram), “Preface,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, vol. IV, 1875, pp. iii-iv


[page iii, unnumbered:]



THIS, the fourth volume of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, concludes the series. The collection includes much that will be new to the admirers of Poe’s writings, and contains everything, it is believed, which either the public or the author himself would wish preserved. The only omissions it has been deemed justifiable to make are those portions of his juvenile poems which Poe wisely suppressed, and the “Discussion with Outis” on the subject of “Plagiarism,” which appeared in 1845, in the first volume of the Broadway Journal. The discussion was of ephemeral interest, and such of his own remarks as were likely to be of any permanent value Poe embodied in “Marginalia” and other subsequent writings.

Many of the critiques contained in this volume, it may be remarked, differ considerably from those in the American collection of Poe’s works, edited by Mr. Griswold; in explanation of these discrepancies I can but state the fact that they are now reprinted (with a few omissions of quotations) as they appeared in the original publications. [page iv:]

Two errors of some importance occur in the first volume; the date of Poe’s birth should have been given at pages xiii. and xxi. as “January,” instead of “February;” and the place of birth as “Boston” instead of “Baltimore.” The latter mistake arose from my accepting as fact the statement made by all previous biographers, whilst the former was caused by an imperfect copy of the affidavit made by Mr. Wertenbaker, to whom I am now indebted for a fac simile of the original document.




In later editions, the two corrections noted were applied to the text and the final paragraph above, detailing these errors, was removed from the preface.


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