Assorted Edgar Allan Poe


Tales of Mystery and Imagination,
with Harry Clarke illustrations

Edgar Allan Poe was a prolific writer in the nineteenth century, well-known for his macabre and mysterious works of short fiction and poetry. He is considered by many to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre, paving the way for other writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dashiell Hammett. Most of us immediately recognize his most famous poem, The Raven, by just one word – nevermore. This came 18 years after Poe’s first foray as a published author, with his first work Tamerlane and Other Poems (a work that is now eminently collectible – one of the greatest book scouting stories of the 20th century centers around the location of an original copy in a barn in New Hampshire in 1988).

Poe had a unique knack for horror and suspense – who can forget the beating of that tell-tale heart? – and influenced many writers who came after him. He was also a prominent literary critic, known for his biting reviews of other works of literature. As a result, though his own writings were popular, he was not generally well-liked. His own character seems to match the mood of his stories – darkly romantic, enigmatic, but nonetheless compelling.

I have compiled here for your literary enjoyment a group of Poe volumes we currently have in inventory. Many of these were purchased as part of a small collection focusing on Poe, and as a result some interesting editions are represented. To the right is pictured a well-known edition of his Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which includes wonderful illustrations by Harry Clarke. This imprint was originally released with a dust jacket, as well as a collector’s box, both of which are often missing (as is the case here).

Below are two editions of Poe’s poems, both issued by The Roycrofters (Elbert Hubbard’s Arts & Crafts group, based in East Aurora, NY, and known for their high quality book designs and printing). These are just two versions of many that were released in the same year (for a wealth of information relating to this and other titles published by The Roycrofters, this website is invaluable: Roycroft Books).

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Suede Spine Over Boards

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Suede Spine
Over Boards

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Half-Leather

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Half-Leather

Poe’s first novel (and his only complete one), written more than ten years after his first poetic works, was The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, first released in 1838. It would be an influence on the nautical fiction of Herman Melville (Moby Dick) and Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). The Gold Bug was a short story, also in the adventure fiction category, which proved very popular during Poe’s lifetime.

A number of multi-volume sets of Poe’s complete works have been released (though, it is useful to note, many that purport to include his complete works do not – check those tables of contents!). Numerous decorative and collector’s editions are also available, and the serious collector can seek out original publications of his work, much of which was first printed in serial form in various literary magazines. In short, those interested in compiling a collection of Poe will find it difficult to grow bored.

For more information on the titles pictured here, click the image to view our full descriptions of these titles, and the specific editions.


Jonathan Smalter, Bookseller
President, Yesterday’s Muse Books
Vice President, IOBA
Sellers of fine books in all categories, with specialties in:
Castles & Military Fortifications; Dystopian Literature
32 W Main St Ste 1
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: (585) 265-9295

Arthur Gordon Pym: A Romance

Arthur Gordon Pym: A Romance


The Works of Edgar Allan Poe,
in Ten Volumes


Prose Tales


The Gold-Bug


The Bells


The Bells

Complete Poems: Easton Press Leatherbound Edition

Complete Poems:
Easton Press Leatherbound Edition

Published in: on June 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM  Leave a Comment  
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