"The Raven" [in] The American Review
New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845.
New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845. First edition. The first six issues of 1845 bound into a single volume, including the first publication of Poe's "The Raven" on p 143 of the February issue. Complete with the double frontis portraits of Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen by T. Doney. Bound in black polished calf over marbled boards, marbled endpapers. Outer joints starting, but still holding well. Spine ends and corners rubbed. A few leaves toned and/or with the odd spot of foxing, but generally clean internally.
Considered the single most famous American poem, The Raven was also Poe's greatest masterpiece. Inspired by early lyrics written by the English poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning, to whom he dedicated the book, Poe composed a complex trochaic octameter to provide the poem with a hauntingly deranged musicality. Tapping into contemporary interest in sensational horror, Poe further drew together strikingly sensual images of a silk curtained chamber and a bust of Athena, atop which the Raven announced the death of Lenore with a single word: "Nevermore." Even before publication, Poe knew he had reached his literary pinnacle. To a friend he declared "I tell you it is the greatest poem ever written." It was true. Wiley & Putnam's release of The Raven paved the way for their publication of his other important works, including his Tales, a collection that introduced his pioneering detective fiction to a wider audience hungering for more from his dark mind. Very Good (Item #5890)