The Stylus, originally intended to be named The Penn, was a would-be periodical owned and edited by Edgar Allan Poe. It had long been a dream of Poe to establish an American journal with very high standards in order to elevate the literature of the time. Despite attempts at signing up subscribers and finding financial backers and contributors, the journal never came to be.
1 Overview 2 Fundraising 3 Contents 4 References
5 External links
Though Poe thought of creating the journal as early as 1834, he first
announced his prospectus in June 1840 immediately after leaving
Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. Originally, Poe intended to call the
journal The Penn, as it would have been based in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. In the June 6, 1840, issue of Philadelphia's Saturday
Evening Post, Poe purchased advertising space for his prospectus:
"PROSPECTUS OF THE PENN MAGAZINE, a Monthly Literary Journal, to be
Edited and Published in the city of Philadelphia, by Edgar A. Poe."
Many were looking forward to the magazine, including Connecticut-born
journalist Jesse Erskine Dow, editor of the Index, who wrote: "We
trust that he will soon come out with his Penn Magazine, a work which,
if carried out as he designs it, will do away with the monopoly of
puffing and break the fetters which a corps of pensioned blockheads
have bound so long around the brows of young intellects who are too
proud to pay a literary pimp for a favorable notice in a mammoth six
penny or a good word with the fathers of the Row, who drink wine out
of the skulls of authors and grow fat upon the geese that feed upon
the grass that waves over their early tomb stones".
Poe soon realized he needed to "endeavor to support the general
interests of the republic of letters, without reference to particular
regions — regarding the world at large as the true audience of the
author". Georgia poet
Thomas Holley Chivers
How dreadful is the present condition of our Literature! To what are things heading? We want... a well-founded Monthly Journal, of sufficient ability, circulation and character, to control, and to give tone to, our Letters. It should be, externally, a specimen of high, but not too refined Taste:-I mean, it should be boldly printed, on excellent paper, in single column, and be illustrated, not merely embellished, by spirited wood designs in the style of Grandville. Its chief aims should be Independence, Truth, Originality. It should be a journal of some 120 pp. and furnished at $5. It should have nothing to do with Agents or Agencies. Such a Magazine might be made to exercise a prodigious influence, and would be a source of wealth to its proprietors.
Poe wrote a letter to his cousin Neilson Poe on August 8, 1845, in
which he stated very confidently, "In January I shall establish a
Magazine." Even so, he never saw his dream come true despite
having several published solicitations for subscribers. He came close,
however, when he became the owner and editor of the Broadway Journal
in October 1845. It ceased publication shortly thereafter when its
final edition appeared on January 3, 1846. In a letter to Sarah
Josepha Hale in January 1846, Poe wrote that, "The B. Journal had
fulfilled its destiny... I had never regarded it as more than a
temporary adjunct to other design."
That great design, Poe said, was to continue his plans for the
establishment of his own magazine. By August 1846, he called The
October 1840 advertisement for The Penn magazine, soon to be renamed The Stylus.
Poe was not able to support the founding of his magazine out of
pocket, in part because of the after-effects of the Panic of 1837,
and sought out investors. On January 17, 1840, Poe wrote a letter to
friend and fellow writer John Pendleton Kennedy asking for his help in
funding the magazine: "Since you gave me my first start in the
literary world... you will not feel surprised that I look anxiously to
you for encouragement in this new enterprise", he wrote. George
Rex Graham offered financial support and hired Poe as an editor for
his magazine, suggesting he would help with The Penn after six months.
After Poe began work on Graham's Magazine, Graham published an
announcement in the
Saturday Evening Post
We understand that the purpose of Poe's lectures is to raise the necessary capital for the establishment of a magazine, which he proposes to call "The Stylus." They who like literature without trammels, and criticism without gloves, should sent in their names forthwith as subscribers. If there be in the world a born anatomist of thought, it is Mr. Poe... The severe difficulties with which Mr. Poe has been visited within the last year, have left him in a position to devote himself, self-sacrificingly, to his new task... he will doubtless give it that most complete attention which alone can make such an enterprise successful.
Poe had a fair amount of support for The
^ a b Meyers, 119
^ Silverman, 159
^ Thomas & Jackson, 347
^ Sova, 183
^ Davis, Richard Beale (editor) (1952). Chivers' Life of Poe
(Paperback ed.). New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
p. 42. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
F. O. C. Darley
Bittner, William. Poe: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy. New York:
Cooper Square Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8154-1038-7.
Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography.
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending
Remembrance. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991.
Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. New York: Checkmark Books,
2001. ISBN 0-8160-4161-X.
Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson. The Poe Log: A Documentary Life
Edgar Allan Poe
List of prospectuses of The Penn/The
v t e
Edgar Allan Poe
"Tamerlane" (1827) "Al Aaraaf" (1829) "Sonnet to Science" (1829) "To Helen" (1831) "The City in the Sea" (1831) "The Haunted Palace" (1839) "The Conqueror Worm" (1843) "Lenore" (1843) "Eulalie" (1843) "The Raven" (1845) "Ulalume" (1847) "A Dream Within a Dream" (1849) "Eldorado" (1849) "The Bells" (1849) "Annabel Lee" (1849)"
"Metzengerstein" (1832) "Bon-Bon" (1832) "MS. Found in a Bottle" (1833) "Berenice" (1835) "Morella" (1835) "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835) "Ligeia" (1838) "A Predicament" (1838) "The Devil in the Belfry" (1839) "The Man That Was Used Up" (1839) "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) "William Wilson" (1839) "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion" (1839) "The Business Man" (1840) "The Man of the Crowd" (1840) "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841) "A Descent into the Maelström" (1841) "Never Bet the Devil Your Head" (1841) "Eleonora" (1841) "The Oval Portrait" (1842) "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842) "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" (1842) "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842) "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) "The Gold-Bug" (1843) "The Black Cat" (1843) "The Spectacles" (1844) "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" (1844) "The Premature Burial" (1844) "The Oblong Box" (1844) "The Angel of the Odd" (1844) "Thou Art the Man" (1844) "The Purloined Letter" (1844) "Some Words with a Mummy" (1845) "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" (1845) "The Imp of the Perverse" (1845) "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" (1845) "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (1845) "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846) "Hop-Frog" (1849)
"Maelzel's Chess Player" (1836) "The Philosophy of Furniture" (1840) "Morning on the Wissahiccon" (1844) "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) "The Poetic Principle" (1846) Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848)
Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
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