The Museum Collection

Rufus Griswold's Notes on Poe

ID #: 1033
Creator: Rufus W. Griswold
Date: ca. 1849
Format: Manuscript
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Source: Gift of Merrill Griswold, Roger Griswold, Mrs. Arthur W. Locke, and Mrs. Arthur W. Fletcher
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
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Description:

Rufus Wilmot Griswold (1815-1857) is best known today as Edgar Allan Poe's literary executor who was the first to collect and publish Poe's works after the author's death. Griswold's edition of the works of Poe contained a short biography which contained a negatively distorted image of Poe probably intended to permanently damage Poe's reputation. Griswold's obituary of Poe was so negative and potentially libelous he first published it anonymously.

This document seems to be a sheet of Griswold's notes written while compiling Poe's works for an anthology. The text contains transcriptions from John Neal's critical notice of Poe's book Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems in addition to passages from Poe's poem "Al Aaraaf."

Griswold grandchildren, Merrill Griswold, Roger Griswold, Mrs. Arthur W. Locke, and Mrs. Arthur W. Fletcher, gave this manuscript to the Poe Museum in 1949. At the time, they believed the piece to have been written by Edgar Allan Poe, but later scholars believe the handwriting to be that of Rufus Griswold, to whom the piece is now attributed.

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