Graham's Magazine of Literature and Art (Volume XXII-III)
Hard Cover. Philadelphia: George R. Graham, 1843 (January-December). 1843. First Edition. Very Good.
Illustrated with color and b&w plates by various artists. First edition. Finely bound in black calf, with cross hatch pattern in blind to boards, board margins decorated in gilt, four raised bands to spine, extensive gilt decoration to spine, titles in gilt to spine, and colorful, marbled endpapers. Very good, with light rubbing to boards, gilt bright except for a bit of dimming to spine bands, light wear to head of spine, some minor splitting to calf at top of front joint, some wear to corners, light dampstaining to endpapers and a few pages at front and back of book, contemporary inscription to front flyleaf, and some foxing to pages and plates. Overall, a beautiful and unrestored example. This book, which combines Vols. XXII and XXIII of Graham's Magazine, is notable for containing the first appearances of multiple pieces by Edgar Allen Poe - namely, "Our Amateur Poets: Flaccus," "Our Amateur Poets: William Ellery Channing," "Review of Wyandotté" (James Fenimore Cooper novel), "Our Contributors: Fitz-Greene Halleck," and the poem, "The Conqueror Worm." In "The Conqueror Worm," angels watch a play in which mimes (described as "mere puppets…at bidding of vast formless things") are gruesomely devoured by a monstrous worm. The poem ends with the lines "The play is the tragedy, 'Man,' / And its hero, The Conqueror Worm." Poe later incorporated the poem prominently into his early gothic short story, "Ligeia," which George Bernard Shaw praised as "unparalleled and unapproached." This book also includes the first appearances of works by such writers as James Fenimore Cooper ("The Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief" and "Oliver Hazard Perry"), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("The Belfry of Bruges" and "The Good George Campbell"), and William Cullen Bryant ("A Northern Legend" and "The Crowded Street"). Poe published many of his works for the first time in Graham's Magazine, including the short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), which is recognized today as the first modern detective story, laying the groundwork for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and other classics of the genre. In 1842 - just one year prior to this volume being published - Poe served as the periodical's chief editor. He had a bitter feud with the magazine's subsequent editor, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, and as a result the magazine refused to publish any more of his works, including his masterpiece,"The Raven" (1845), which Poe instead published in the New York Evening Mirror.