Description

    Edgar A[llan] Poe. Tales. New-York: Wiley & Putnam, 1845. First edition, first printing, with the copyright notice in four lines, and the imprints on the copyright page: "Stereotyped by T. B. Smith, 216 William Street, New York. H. Ludwig, Print." Octavo (7.25 x 5 inches; 184 x 128 mm.). [2, half-title (verso blank)], [2, title (copyright on verso)], [2, contents (verso blank)], 228, [4, advertisements] pages plus [4], x (of xii) pages of advertisements. Bound without the initial blank leaf, but complete with half-title and all but the final leaf (pages xi-xii) of the advertisements at end. The advertisements on page [229] begin with "THE POETICAL FORTUNE-TELLER." According to BAL, impressions from the plates of several pages vary: in this copy, the first three letters of the last three lines on page 160 are not battered; on page 169, the "F" in "OF" in the headline is damaged; on page 187, the "E" in "ROGET" in the headline and the "8" in the page number are damaged; on page 224, the final "S" and period are missing in the headline. Half-title: Wiley and Putnam's Library of American Books. Early twentieth-century full black levant morocco by Canape (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in: "Canape. R. D" and dated in gilt on rear turn-in: 1905). Covers bordered with seven gilt rules; spine panelled and lettered in gilt in compartments with five gilt-ruled raised bands; turn-ins with four gilt rules; board edges with double gilt rules; top edge gilt, others uncut; marbled endleaves. Green silk ribbon bookmark. Upper corners bumped; joints rubbed; rear cover with a scratch affecting the lower gilt rules, and another faint scratch across the gilt rules closest to spine; front free endleaf separating at hinge. Lower corner of half-title renewed; small portion of upper corner of pages v/vi, vii/viii, ix/x of Wiley & Putnam's advertisements renewed, and a small portion of lower corner of pages vii/viii and ix/x worn away; a few additional corner tips worn away. Tiny adhesion in text on page 213 obliterating one letter and touching another; faint staining or foxing in the text and upper corner on pages 172-176; a few small mostly marginal faint stains or fox marks and a few faint marginal smudges. A remarkably clean and fresh copy. Housed in a brown cloth clamshell case with black leather label on spine ruled and lettered in gilt. From the KoKo Collection.

    A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone; Queen's Quorum 1 ("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"); BAL 16146; Grolier, 100 American, 55; Heartman and Canny, pp. 90-97; Yale/Gimbel 61. See also William B. Todd, "The Early Issues of Poe's Tales (1845)," Library Chronicle of the University of Texas, Fall 1961, 7:13-18.


    More Information:

    "Here, for good or ill, begins the detective story, with 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,' 'The Mystery of Marie Roget,' and, primus inter pares, the character of the amateur detective who triumphs over the blundering police, in 'The Purloined Letter.' The earlier Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 2 vols., Philadelphia, 1840, contains a larger number of the Poe tales of horror, which are still the artistic standard for that school, but this volume adds 'The Fall of the House of Usher,' 'The Descent into the Maelstrom' and 'The Gold Bug'" (Grolier, 100 American).

    "The 1845 edition includes for the first time in book form all three Dupin stories - 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,' 'The Mystery of Marie Roget,' and 'The Purloined Letter.' 'The Gold-Bug is also included, but not Poe's fourth detective story, Thou Art the Man'"(Queen's Quorum).

    "The book contained twelve of Poe's tales selected by the editor of the Literary World, E. A. Duyckinck. Referring to this edition in a letter of December 15, 1846, Poe remarked: 'The publishers cheat-and I must wait till I can be my own publisher. The collection of tales issued by W. & P. were selected by a gentleman whose taste does not coincide with my own, from 72, written by me at various times-and those chosen are not my best-nor do they fairly represent me in any respect'" (Yale/Gimbel).





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