Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Prospectus of the Penn Magazine,” Saturday Courier (Philadelphia, PA), June 13, 1840


PENN MAGAZINE — Under this title, Edgar A. Poe, Esq., has issued proposals to commence in this city a new magazine, on the first of January next. Mr. Poe has been very favorably known as the able editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, and within the last year as an associate editor of Burton's Magazine. Of his abilities for the work he proposes, it is wholly unnecessary to speak; but it may be of interest to add what he declares shall be the basis of the new magazine:

“It shall be the first and chief purpose of the Magazine now proposed, to become known as one where may be found, at all times, and upon all subjects, an honest and a fearless opinion. This is a purpose of which no man need be ashamed. It is one, moreover, whose novelty at least will give it interest. For assurance that I will fulfil it in its best spirit, and to the very letter, I appeal with confidence to the many thousands of my friends, and especially of my Southern friends, who sustained me in The Messenger, where I had but a partial opportunity of completing my own plans.

In respect to the other general features of the Penn Magazine, a few words here will suffice. Upon matters of very grave moment, it will leave the task of instruction in better hands. Its aim, chiefly, shall be to please; and this through means of versatility, originality and pungency. It must not be supposed, however, that the intention is never to be serious. There is a species of grave writing, of which the spirit is novelty and vigor, and the immediate object of the enkindling of the imagination. In such productions, belonging to the loftiest regions of literature, the journal shall abound. It may be as well here to observe, that nothing said in this Prospectus should he construed into a design of sullying the Magazine with any tincture of the buffoonery, scurrility, or profanity, which are the blemish of some of the most vigorous of the European prints. In all branches of the literary department, the best aid, from the highest and purest sources, is secured.”



This excerpt is from the broadsheet printed and distributed by Poe. In the original, the excerpts are not indented, but instead printed in a slightly smaller font, perhaps because it needed to conform to a narrow newspaper column.


[S:1 - SEP, 1840 (fac/text, PL)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - Prospectus of the Penn Magazine]