New York: Redfield, 1850. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition of his 3rd collection of tremor inducing stories. 1st printing, with all points as per B. A. L. 16158, as well as binding style A. Original brown cloth (also seen in green and purple), a 1” chip at the spine’s top replaced with similar cloth, the joints and hinges strengthened, a corner bumped, the last 4 leaves foxed (most copies have more spots than Jack the Ripper’s shirtsleeves), else good condition, and not terribly unsightly, and though we have pointed out some frightening defects, the price reflects the condition, and it has all the essentials. It is the real 1st printing in original cloth, and the primary binding of it, and it is complete with Poe’s portrait, and the 4 pages of ads. The 1st printing is scarce, scarcer than you imagine. And it is important, reprinting the 16 best of Poe’s previously published stories, and conspicuously adding, for the first time in any of his 1st editions, 15 new stories from his haunted carnival that include, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Oval Portrait, The Tell–Tale Heart, The Masque of Red Death, and 11 other new and ominous tales, also of surpassing distinction. The 2nd printing is invariably available, and descriptions of it try to hide that it is a reprint by miscalling it 2nd state, or 2nd issue, or early printing (some booksellers will only use the words “2nd printing” if it occurs to them as a solution to a clue in the Times crossword). Our 1st printing is seldom for sale, less often complete in original cloth, it has long been under appreciated and undervalued (still is), and its standing among Poe’s books is crazily misunderstood. Good. Item #821
A 1st edition that is an unavoidably requisite part of any collection of Edgar Poe, or of horror literature, or even of American literature, because of the new stories that first appeared in it. And because of those stories, no gathering of any of the above– mentioned collections can be deemed comprehensive without it, and any bookshelf would be measurably enhanced by its addition. Further, 1st editions of his 2 earlier books of Tales are much more expensive, and neither of them has all his finest older stories, or any of the 15 new ones, so this is a chance to own a substantial Poe 1st edition, and the best for content, at the cost of a lesser book, and most books are lesser.
And why do we make such an effort to explain our 1st editions? Because you are always better off doing nothing with your money than doing something you do not understand.