Text: George E. Woodberry, “Notes,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Stone and Kimball, vol. VIII, 1895, pp. 349-352


[page 349:]




THE LITERATI. Published in “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” May-October, 1846. The text is that of Griswold, which varies from the original issue only in consequence of slight editorial revision in the main, but very materially in the cases of Briggs, English, Mrs. Osgood, and Mrs. Hewitt. Poe had previously reviewed Mrs. Osgood at length in the “ Broadway Journal,” ii. 23, and in “Godey’s,” March, 1846, and also Mrs. Hewitt in the “Broadway Journal,” ii. 16, and in “Godey’s “February, 1846; the Griswold text embodies these with the later notices of the “Literati,” and it is presumed that, in these instances, and also in those of Briggs and English, the Editor followed a later manuscript of Poe.

Of the other authors treated, several had been previously reviewed, as follows: —

N. P. WILLIS. The note, p. 14, is from the “Broadway Journal,” i. 8. See also the “American Drama,” vol. vi.

MRS. MOWATT. “Broadway Journal,” i. 14.

RALPH HOYT. “Broadway Journal,” ii. 8.

FITZ-GREENE HALLECK. “Southern Literary Messenger,” April, 1836; “Graham’s Magazine,” September, 1848.

MRS. CHILD. “Broadway Journal,” i. 22.

MRS. SEDGWICK. “Southern Literary Messenger,” December, 1885.

RICHARD ADAMS LOCKE. Compare Poe’s note on “Hans Pfaall.” [page 350:]

Some of the authors had come under Poe’s criticism elsewhere, but only in minor or incidental ways, as in the papers on “Autography,” or unimportant book-notices.

The publication of these articles in “Godey’s” occasioned some protest, and in reply to such comment the Editor published the following in the “Editor’s Book Table,” in the number for June, 1846: —

“THE AUTHORS AND MR. POE. We have received several letters from New York, anonymous, and from personal friends, requesting us to be careful what we allow Mr. Poe to say of the New York authors, many of whom are our personal friends. We reply to one and all that we have nothing to do but publish Mr. Poe’s opinion, not our own. Whether we agree with Mr. Poe or not is another matter. We are not to be intimidated by a threat of the loss of friends, or turned from our purpose by honeyed words. Our course is onward. The May edition was exhausted before the first of May, and we have had orders for hundreds from Boston and New York, which we could not supply. The first number of the series (with autographs) is republished in this number, which also contains No. 2. The usual quantity of reading matter is given in addition to the notices.

“Many attempts have been made and are making by various persons to forestall public opinion. We have the name of one person. Others are busy with reports of Mr. Poe’s illness. Mr. Poe has been ill, but we have letters from him of very recent dates; also a new batch of the Literati, which show anything but feebleness either of body or mind. Almost every paper that we exchange with has praised our new enterprise — the Union — and spoken in high terms of No. 1 of Mr. Poe’s opinions.”

The series, together with the main body of Poe’s criticism, was included in Griswold’s third volume, separately issued, and was widely reviewed by the press, and as a rule unfavorably, in consequence of the personalities in many of the papers. [page 351:]


R. W. GRISWOLD AND THE POETS. Published in the “ Boston Miscellany,” November, 1842.

RUFUS DAWES. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” October, 1842.

FLACCUS — THOMAS WARD. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” March, 1843, under the title “Our Amateur Poets, No. 1.”

WILLIAM W. LORD. Published in the “Broadway Journal,” i. 21.

WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” August, 1843, under the title “Our Amateur Poets, No. 8.” Cf. S. L. M. Oct. 1850.

CORNELIUS MATHEWS. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” February, 1842. This author was noticed also by Poe elsewhere from time to time, for example, in “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” November, 1845, but the reviews are unimportant.

HENRY B. HIRST. Unknown. The text follows Griswold. This author was more favorably noticed in the “Broadway Journal,” ii. 1, and the later review, here printed, represents a further stage in the personal relations of the two men.

SEBA SMITH. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” July, 1841.

L. A. WILMER. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” August, 1841.

J. G. C. BRAINARD. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” February, 1842.

GEORGE P. MORRIS. Published in the “Southern Literary Messenger,” April, 1849, and slightly revised from the earlier publication in “Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine,” December, 1889.

BAYARD TAYLOR. Published in the “Southern Literary Messenger,” April, 1849.

WILLIAM ROSS WALLACE. Unknown. The text follows Griswold.

MRS. ELLET. Unknown. The text follows Griswold.

MRS. WELBY. Published in the “Democratic Review,” December, 1844. [page 352:]

THE DAVIDSONS. Published in “Graham’s Magazine,” August, December, 1841. The text follows Griswold, who reproduces a somewhat revised form.

ELIZABETH OAKES SMITH. Published in “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” December, 1845. Poe had previously reviewed this author in the “Broadway Journal,” ii. 7.

ESTELLE ANNA LEWIS. Unknown. The text follows Griswold. Poe had previously reviewed the author in the “Southern Literary Messenger,” September, 1848.


A Chapter of Suggestions. Published in the “Opal,” 1845, and (the second part) in “Graham’s Magazine,” May, June, 1849.

G. E. W.





In the 1903 edition, the following note is added after the first paragraph:

[Since the above note was written the Poe ms. was found among the Griswold papers and sustains his text.]

Technically, what was found was the partial manuscript for the book Poe proposed as Literary America, which appears to have incorporated a number of the earlier “Literati” entries.

What is referred to in the notes above as the second part of “A Chapter of Suggestions” is better known as “Fifty Suggestions.”



[S:0 - SW, 1895] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Notes (Stedman and Woodberry, 1895)