The Mysterious Bookshop

Edgar Allan Poe - Tales (First Edition)

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Poe, Edgar Allan, Tales, New York, Wiley and Putnam, 1845. First edition. The most important book in the history of detective fiction, collecting all three stories about C. Auguste Dupin. Rebound in marbled boards with a black leather spine and corners, stamped in gold on the spine, which has raised bands, in fine condition. Matching marbled endpapers. Bound with the original half-title, titled “Wiley and Putnam’s Library of American Books. Poe’s Tales.” A two-page catalogue is bound in at the back. According to A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe by Charles F. Heartman and James R. Canny, the book was issued both in wrappers and cloth with a combined print run of 750 copies. There are two states of the first edition, one with the printer’s and stereotyper’s name, one without, with no priority assigned to either; both states have been recorded in both wrappered and cloth copies. However, in Jacob Blanck’s more authoritative Bibliography of American Literature, the copyright page of the first state bears a four-line imprint: Stereotyped by T.B. Smith, 216 William Street, New York. H. Ludwig, Print. The second state bears a different four-line imprint: R. Craigheads Power Press, 112 Fulton Street. Stereotyped by T.B. Smith, 216 William Street. This copy is the second state. Pages have occasional staining and foxing, and a later preliminary leaf, presumably added when the book was bound, is quite stained, probably from the removal of a bookplate. The pages measure 4 7/8” x 7 1/16” indicating a careful rebind with generous margins. No copies of this rare and important book in the original binding have been seen for sale in more than two decades. The essential cornerstone volume for any serious collection of mystery fiction. $25,000.00

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