Rare first printing of this selection of Poe's tales, including "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Very good plus.
"What a strange, though enormously talented writer, that Edgar Poe!" — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Included in these twelve tales are the pieces that are often anointed as the first modern detective stories: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," all featuring his famed character C. Auguste Dupin. It is item number 1 in QUEEN'S QUORUM, which spares no fanfare: "the first important book of detective fiction, the first and the greatest, the cornerstone of cornerstones in any readers' or collectors' guide, the highest of all highspots."
The works were selected out of Poe's various magazine publications for printing as the second number in Wiley & Putnam's Library of American Books. Despite the author's private complaints and general grumbles (Poe lamented the number of "analytic" stories in the collection as unrepresentative of his full capacities), Wiley reader Evert Duyckink's astute choices contributed to the volume's relative success. These include "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Black Cat," and "The Gold-Bug," along with a few philosophical dialogues and the lesser-known "Lionizing" — "perhaps as a concession to Poe's unfounded sense of himself as a humorist" (Silverman). Immensely influential: one of the most important short story collections published in the United States.
Read more: Blanck, Bibliography of American Literature (BAL), 16146; Ian Walker, Edgar Allan Poe; Silverman, Kenneth, Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance; Ellery Queen, Queen's Quorum, 1; Heartman and Canny, A Bibliography of the First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, 90.
First edition. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845. 7'' x 4.75''. Modern half brown goatskin with contemporary marbled boards, sympathetically rebacked to style, spine ruled and lettered in bright gilt. With half-title ("Wiley and Putnam's Library of American Books / Poe's Tales"); bound without advertisements. Imprint of T.B. Smith and H. Ludwig on copyright page. , 228 pages. Housed in custom quarter green goatskin slipcase and green cloth chemise. Ownership signatures of Charles L. Swasey to front free endpaper, dated 1849, with shelfmark in same hand; and to title page. Some edgewear and rubbing to boards. Mild foxing to endpapers and some margins.
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