Edgar Allan Poe's First Book of Tales Containing the First Appearances of The Fall of the House of Usher and Ms. Found in a Bottle

    Edgar A[llan] Poe. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. In Two Volumes. Vol. I [II.] Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1840.

    First edition. One of only about 750 copies printed. Two twelvemo volumes. [ii], 243, [1]; [i]-iv, [1]-228 [2, blank] pages (some pages unnumbered). With p. 213 in Volume II correctly numbered (an early printing issue). Four pages of ads present at the beginning of Volume II.

    Recent binding of half brown morocco over marbled boards, spines in compartments with five raised bands and tooled in gilt and blind, two light-brown morocco gilt lettering labels on each volume. Top edges gilt. Modern endpapers. A handsome copy with some typical light foxing, bottom corner of page 213 in Volume II torn away not affecting text. Regrettably, Volume I has experienced some rather unfortunate and heavy staining to the preliminary and terminal leaves, extending from the title page in the front to page 61/62, and from page 201 to the end, a couple of pages in between with small stains. Altogether, a very good copy of one of the most important and influential collections of short stories in the history of the genre, and an indisputable high spot of American literature. The two volumes are housed in a custom quarter brown morocco clamshell case.

    Poe's first book of short stories, containing some of his best, and now most famous work, including "Morella," "William Wilson," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "Ms. Found in a Bottle," "Ligeia," "Siope" (now "Silence"), "Berenice," and "The Visionary" (now "The Assignation"), among others.

    BAL 16133. Heartman and Canny, pp. 49-54.

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    June, 2008
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