NABOKV-L post 0015962, Sat, 9 Feb 2008 08:19:26 -0800

Subject
reply: Conchology
Date
Body
Dear Matt,

You missed one:

1840. POE, Edgar Allan. The Conchologist's First Book. 166 pp. With
12 uncoloured lithographs of shells. 8vo., bound in original printed
boards backed in blue roan, in quarter blue morocco slipcase.
Philadelphia: Haswell, Barrington & Haswell, 1840. Poe's textbook on
shells, containing a brief preface by the author, initialled in type
E.A.P.

Not an original work, but an adaptation of Thomas Wyatt's Manual of
Conchology; Poe was hired by the publisher to prepare a new text,
which was to carry his name, in order to circumvent Harper's
copyright. Poe was subsequently charged with plagiarism.

"Ironically enough, this not altogether honest piece of hack-work was
the only American publication of Poe's to go into more than one
edition during his lifetime. The second edition appeared in 1840 and
a third in 1845. And in the third edition Poe's name was omitted from
the cover and title page, though his initials were kept at the end of
the 'Preface'"

Note to bibliophiles: three copies are listed at abebooks.com

Carolyn Kunin

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