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The Mystery of Marie Roget
, 1843. 1843. [the first "real crime"] In: THE LADIES' COMPANION; a Monthly Magazine embracing Every Department of Literature. Embellished with Original Etchings, and Music. Volume XVIII. New-York: William W. Snowden, 1843. Bound in early (assuredly original with the first buyer) embossed cloth boards with his name on a leather label on the front cover, with later black leather spine and corners. First Appearance of this famous mystery by Poe, complete in the three issues of November 1842, December 1842 and February 1843. Snowden's Ladies' Companion was patterned after Graham's and Godey's, and was in existence from 1834 to 1844 (with Snowden as editor for all but the final year, at which time Lydia Sigourney and others took over). This Volume XVIII consists of the eight monthly issues from November 1842 through April 1843 (continuously paginated), preceded by the title page and preliminary leaves which were provided with the final issue; curiously, the preliminary Index leaf states "From October 1842 to May 1843 inclusive" which is one month off. Buyers of the monthly issues were thus encouraged to take them to their local binder to have the issues bound up for better protection -- which is what we have here, a binding contemporary with publication (though with the spine and corners later renewed).~"The Mystery of Marie Roget" is here sub-titled "A Sequel to 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,' because like that earlier one, it features detective Auguste Dupin -- generally regarded as the first detective in literature and a major influence upon the creation of a certain Sherlock Holmes almost fifty years later. Furthermore "Marie Roget" is regarded as the first murder mystery to be based upon the details of a real crime -- the disappearance and death of Mary Cecilia Rogers in 1841. When Poe wrote this tale, it was with the knowledge that that widely-followed but still-unsolved death would help his tale's popularity; in fact he mentions that case at the beginning of this tale. The reason that the third and final installment was in the February and not the January issue, was that a newspaper article came out in late November putting forth new evidence that Mary might have died of a botched abortion; Poe took the time to amend his tale to allow for that.~This tale's next appearance, and its first publication in book form, would be in 1845's TALES -- which also included many of the other great Poe tales such as "The Gold Bug," "The Black Cat," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "A Descent into the Maelstrom," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter."~This volume is in near-fine condition (the leather spine and corners being relatively new), with the old leather label on the original-cloth front cover matching that owner's signature on a front flyleaf. The many engraved plates (not involved with the Poe tale) are in quite nice condition; some leaves toward the rear have a dampmarked corner, but there is very little foxing on text or plates. Heartman & Canny pp 216-217.
      [Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman]
Last Found On: 2014-05-02           Check availability:      Biblio    


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