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Raven, The
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884. - "Once Upon a Midnight Dreary, While I Pondered, Weak and Weary "The First separate American and first edition illustrated by Gustave Doré Probably the Finest Example Extant in the Plain Dust Jacket and Publisher's BoxDORÉ, Gustave, Illustrator. POE, Edgar Allan. The Raven. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. With comment by Edmund C. Stedman. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884. First separate American edition and first edition illustrated by Doré. Large folio (18 1/4 x 14 3/8 inches: 463 x 365 mm.). 14, [2], [19]-23 pp. Title-page illustration by Elihu Vedder. Twenty-six magnificent full-page plates by Gustave Doré, all but the first and last with captioned tissue-guards. Publisher's gray cloth pictorially decorated in gilt and black, spine decoratively lettered in gilt and black, rear cover with pictorial design in black. Al edges gilt, brown coated end-papers. An absolutely mint and pristine copy. Probably the finest example extant in the exceptionally rare plain paper dust jacket and the publisher's blue paper printed box (slightly worn at edges) housed in a blue cloth clamshell case.Gustave Doré's final work.In 1884, Doré produced 26 steel engravings for an illustrated edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s gloomy classic "The Raven." Like all of his illustrations, the images are rich with detail, yet in contrast to his earlier work, particularly the fine lines of his Quixote, these engravings are softer, characterized by a deep chiaroscuro appropriate to the mood of the poem. We can see in the plate depicting the first lines of the poem, the haunted speaker, "weak and weary," slumped over one of his many "quaint and curious volume[s] of forgotten lore." and also the raven tapping, "louder than before," at the window lattice.By the time Doré’s edition saw publication, Poe’s most famous work had already achieved recognition as one of the greatest of American poems. Its author, however, had died over thirty years previous in near-poverty. A catalog description from a Penn State Library holding of one of Doré’s "Raven" editions compares the two artists:The careers of these two men are fraught with both popular success and unmitigated disappointment. Doré enjoyed phenomenal monetary success as an illustrator in his life-time, however his true desire, to be acknowledged as a fine artist, was never realized. The critics of his day derided his abilities as an artist even as his popularity soared.One might say that Poe suffered the opposite fate—recognized as a great artist in his lifetime, he never achieved financial stability. We learn from the Penn State Rare Collections library that Doré received the rough equivalent of $140,000 for his illustrated edition of "The Raven." Poe, on the other hand, was paid approximately nine dollars for his most famous poem.
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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