Poe and the Southern Literary Messenger

Poe and the Southern Literary Messenger

Poe and the Southern Literary Messenger

Poe and the Southern Literary Messenger

Excerpt

This study of Poe, the magazinist, is concerned primarily with his editorship of The Southern Literary Messenger, the first really important periodical with which he was connected during his journalistic career. The first number of the Messenger, a monthly literary journal founded by the Richmond printer Thomas W. White, was issued in August, 1834, and in spite of many handicaps the magazine managed to survive until June, 1864. An examination of the numbers of the journal issued before Poe became editor throws light on his editorial policies, as well as on those of his predecessors, James Ewell Heath and Edward Vernon Sparhawk. In 1835 Poe, through the friendship of John Pendleton Kennedy, became a contributor to the Messenger; in August of the same year, an assistant to White; and in December, editor. On January 3, 1837, Poe resigned his position. In later years he was again connected with the Messenger, but only as a contributor.

No attempt has been made here to establish the authorship of all of Poe's contributions to the magazine, for such a problem, I feel, involves too many obstacles and uncertainties for the scope of this work. A consideration of the Messenger text of Poe's writings has also been omitted for obvious reasons.

To Professor Jay B. Hubbell of Duke University, who suggested the present study to me and who has given valuable assistance, I am especially grateful. I am also very much indebted to Mr. J. H. Whitty of . . .

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