"My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body": Scarce first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales; including the first appearance of The Gold-Bug, The Black Cat, The Fall of The House of Usher, and The Purloined Letter
Poe, Edgar Allan.$35,000.00
Item Number: 95139
New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845.
First edition, first printing with the imprints of T. B. Smith and H. Ludwig on the copyright page of one of the most important works in the history of American literature. Several of the dozen stories in this remarkable collection are among the best known in fiction including The Gold-Bug, The Black Cat, The Fall of The House of Usher, and The Purloined Letter. Octavo, bound in three quarters contemporary calf over marbled boards. Housed in a custom clamshell and chemise box. In excellent condition with light browning to the text. BAL 16146; Grolier, 100 American, 55; Heartman and Canny, pp. 90-97; Yale/Gimbel 61. One of the nicest examples we have seen of this scarce highspot of American literature.
Generally considered the inventor of the detective genre, Edgar Alan Poe played a vital role in the development and popularization of the modern horror, science fiction, and mystery story. Several of the stories contained in the present volume rank among the best known in the literary canon, including: The Gold-Bug, The Black Cat, The Fall of The House of Usher, and The Purloined Letter. “These tales have been so pregnant with suggestion, so stimulating to the minds of others, that it may be said of many of them that each is a root from which a whole literature has developed” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). “Poe constantly and inevitably produced magic where his greatest contemporaries produced only beauty… There is really nothing to be said about it; we others simply take off our hats and let Mr. Poe go first” (George Bernard Shaw).