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Poe Tales – Edgar Allan Poe

Poe Tales - Edgar Allan Poe
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Poe Tales

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First edition, first issue of the Poe Tales. Published in New York in 1845 by Wiley & Putnam. 5-1/4 x 7-1/2. New York imprint and 4 line copyright with imprint of H. Ludwig, print and T.B. Smith Stereotyper, with 14 pages of advertisements. Full bound in leather with gilt top edge and marbled slip case. With a fine tooled morocco binding by the important American binder, Curtis Walters, who worked for The Club Bindery of the Grolier Club.

This copy of the Poe Tales is from the sale of the Brayton C. Ives collection in 1915, at Anderson Auctions. Ives was an early member of the Grolier Club. It also has the bookplate of Edward Walker Harden, who was involved in the occupation of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War in 1899. The 14 pages of advertisements are also significant. The Poe Tales was issued in paper wrappers. The advertisements (25 pages originally) were often not included when they were bound later. The Poe Tales include: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, The Black Cat,  and The Goldbug among others.

Edgar Allan Poe is credited as the inventor of the modern detective story. The first of these stories was The Murders in the Rue Morgue, which was published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841. The publication of The Murders in the Rue Morgue in the Poe Tales in 1845 was the first in a collection.

The Purloined Letter and The Mystery of Marie Roget also feature the “detective” C. Auguste Dupin. Dupin is the prototype of the modern detective, an eccentric gentlemen of leisure who solves mysteries for his own amusement through the process of deductive reasoning.

Pipe smoking and nocturnal, he is always accompanied by a companion who acts as his foil. In fact, Sherlock Holmes is very clearly derived from Dupin. The character of Dupin is based on François-Eugène Vidocq, at one time a criminal and later the founder of the Sûreté – the French detective service.