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    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 x 4.75 inches; 178 x 120 mm.). [2, blank], [2, title-leaf (copyright on verso)], [2, contents (verso blank)], 228 pages; bound without the half-title and advertisements. 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 not 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. Early twentieth-century half purple crushed morocco over double-marbled paper-covered boards bound C. Walters (stamp-signed on the verso of the front free endpaper); spine lettered and stamped in gilt in gilt-ruled compartments with five gilt-tooled raised bands; top edge gilt, others rough-trimmed; double-marbled endpapers; double flyleaves. Backstrip very faintly dulled; short negligible scuff along the front joint, just near the third compartment from the top; marbled-paper very lightly rubbed, worn at just the board edges; corners very softly bumped with only a touch of wear. A couple spots of foxing to the preliminary blank and title leaves, sporadic light, faint foxing to the fore-edge margin throughout; a few faint marginal smudges. A remarkably clean and fresh copy with a bright and supple text; nearly fine. Bookplates of Edwin Marion Cox (identified in the holdings of Penn Libraries) and Michael Sadleir, an English author and noted book collector whose Nineteenth-Century British Fiction collection is at the University of California, Los Angeles ("generally regarded as the world's finest," at some 18,000 volumes, according to UCLA); his Gothic Romance collection is at the University of Virginia. From the Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction.

    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).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2019
    6th Wednesday
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