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Edgar Allan Poe's Bibliography

by J. Montgomery Gambrill

The year after Poe's death there appeared "The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe," with a Memoir, in two volumes, edited by R. W. Griswold and published by J. S. Redfield, New York. The same editor and publisher brought out a four-volume edition in 1856. Griswold had suffered from Poe's sharp criticisms and had quarreled with him, though later there was a reconciliation, and Poe himself selected Griswold to edit his works. The biographer painted the dead author very black indeed, and his account is now generally considered unfair.

In 1874-1875 "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe," with Memoir, edited by John H. Ingram, were published in four volumes, in Edinburgh, and in 1876 in New York. Ingram represents the other extreme from Griswold, attempting to defend practically everything that Poe was and did.

In 1884 A. C. Armstrong & Son, New York, brought out "The Works of
Edgar Allan Poe" in six volumes, with an Introduction and Memoir by
Richard Henry Stoddard. Stoddard is far from doing justice to Poe
either as man or as author.

Although Griswold's editing was poor, subsequent editions followed his until 1895, when Professor George E. Woodberry and Mr. Edmund Clarence Stedman published a new edition in ten volumes through Stone & Kimball, Chicago (now published by Duffield & Company, New York). This edition is incomparably superior to all its predecessors, going to the original sources, and establishing an authentic text, corrected slightly in quotations and punctuation. Professor Woodberry contributed a Memoir, and Mr. Stedman admirable critical articles on the poems and the tales. Scholarly notes, an extensive bibliography, a number of portraits, and variorum readings of the poems, are included.

In 1902 T.Y. Crowell & Company, New York, issued "The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe" in seventeen volumes, edited by Professor James A. Harrison, including a biography and a volume of letters. This edition contains much of Poe's criticism not published in previous editions, and follows Poe's latest text exactly; complete variorum readings are included.

In 1902 there also appeared "The Booklover's Arnheim" edition in ten volumes, edited by Professor Charles F. Richardson and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York. This is mechanically the finest edition of Poe's works.

The one-volume collections of poems and of tales are almost innumerable, but nearly all are devoid of merit and poorly edited in selection, text, and notes. (This does not refer to the small collections for study in schools.) The best are the following: "Tales of Mystery," Unit Book Publishing Company, New York (72 cents); "The Best Tales of Edgar Allan Poe," edited with critical studies by Sherwin Cody, A.C. McClurg & Company, Chicago ($1.00); "The Best Poems and Essays of E. A. Poe," edited with biographical and critical introduction by Sherwin Cody, McClurg ($1.00); "Poems of E. A. Poe," complete, edited and annotated by Charles W. Kent, The Macmillan Company, New York (25 cents).

Professor George E. Woodberry contributed in 1885 a volume on Poe to the American Men of Letters Series (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston), which is the ablest yet written. In scholarship and critical appreciation it is all that could be desired, but unfortunately it is unsympathetic. Mr. Woodberry assumed a coldly judicial attitude, in which mood he is occasionally a little less than just to Poe's character. Professor Harrison's biography, written for the Virginia edition, is published separately by T.Y. Crowell & Company. It is very full, and valuable for the mass of material supplied, but is not discriminating in criticism or estimate of Poe's character.

Numerous magazine articles may be found by consulting the periodical indexes. A number of suggestive short studies are to be found in the text-books of American literature, such as those of Messrs. Trent, Abernethy, Newcomer, and Wendell; and in the larger books of Professors Richardson, Trent, and Wendell. One may also find acute and valuable comment in such works as Professor Bliss Perry's "A Study of Prose Fiction," and Professor Brander Matthews's "Philosophy of the Short-Story" (published separately, and in "Pen and Ink").

Many of Poe's tales and poems have been translated into practically all the important languages of modern Europe, including Greek.