POE, Edgar Allan. Tales. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845
8o (186 x 128 mm). Initial blank, half-title, publishers advertisements at end (, , xii pages). (Chip to upper blank margin of Contents leaf, pp.57-64 with a few chips from opening.) ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS (losses at lower corners of front wrapper, ½-in. loss at head of spine, old repair along front joint and rear joint partly split, some soiling); half morocco slipcase. Provenance: Howard Behrman; by descent to the present owners.
AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE COPY IN WRAPPERS, ONE OF ONLY A HANDFUL KNOWN
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, with the imprints of T.B. Smith and Ludwig on the copyright page, FIRST ISSUE, with the New York imprint.
THE FIRST DETECTIVE STORIES. "Here... begins the detective story, with 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,' 'Mystery of Marie Roget,' and primus inter pares, the character of the amateur detective who triumphs over the blundering police, in 'The Purloined Letter.' The earlier Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque... contains a larger number of the Poe tales of horror, which are still the artistic standard for that school, but this volume adds 'The Fall of the House of Usher,' 'The Descent into the Maelstrom,' and 'The Gold Bug'" (Grolier American).
COPIES IN WRAPPERS ARE EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE. According to American Book Prices Current, the only copy to appear on the market in the last fifty years was the H. Bradley Martin copy, the wrappers described as "broken, slightly stained, the upper cover split near the spine" (sold Sotheby's New York, 30 January 1990, lot 2210). The advertisements on the wrappers on the present copy vary from BAL's summary (like the second copy at the Beinecke), with the inner back wrapper starting with "Baynes' Notes..." (inner advertisements for "Tales and Works of Fiction" containing 59 unnumbered works in total on front and back, outer back headline "Library of American Books" containing 3 numbered titles and "Library of Choice Reading" containing 16 numbered titles).
BAL 16146; Grolier American 55; Heartman & Canny pp.90-97; NYPL/Gordon 485; Queen's Quorum; Yale/Gimbel 61.