London: W. Kent & Co., 1859. Early printing. 12mo, publisher's blue pebbled cloth, spine and upper board elaborately gilt, lower board elaborately blindstamped, all edges gilt.
British edition of Poe's most popular poems, including "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," "The City In the Sea," "The Bells" and many more, illustrated with 27 wood engravings and vignettes. The collection, originally published in 1853, just four years after the poet's untimely death at the age of 40, was edited and contains a biographical essay on Poe by the Scottish novelist and literary journalist James Hannay. Hannay, by way of introducing the then-still-relatively obscure poet to a wider English readership, relies heavily on the biographical details (many of them sordid) gleaned from the definitive 1850 American edition of Poe's works: "All his aspirations, his fine sensibilities, sought wildly for their gratification through the medium of the senses. The beauty which he loved with his whole soul, he madly endeavoured to grasp in the forms of sheer indulgence." With four pages of publisher's ads. Embossed ownership stamp and pencil notes to front free endpaper. Binder's ticket to rear pastedown. Occasional foxing; corners gently bumped, spine-ends lightly rubbed, but publisher's original cloth and gilt exceptionally fresh and bright. Item #1165