Follow Harriet on Twitter

About Harriet


Poetry News

When the Raven met the Little Lamb

By Harriet Staff

It happened, and we have the documents to prove it. Check this out, from Chicago Tribune:

A one-page 1837 letter from the writer Edgar Allan Poe to the editor of a popular women’s magazine has been sold for $164,000 at auction.

Poe wrote to Sarah Josepha Hale, herself a well-known literary figure and author of the children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” to decline an invitation to publish an article in a magazine she edited at the time.

“You usually don’t see a lengthy handwritten letter like this by Poe,” said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auctions, a New Hampshire-based firm which handled the transaction Wednesday.

“To have him writing to the author of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ is pretty amazing.”

Written eight years before he published his most famous poem, “The Raven,” Poe, then a literary critic for a magazine in Richmond, Virginia, tells Hale he is too busy with other work after a recent illness.

“To send you a crude or hastily written article would be injurious to me, and an insult to yourself – and I fear that I could, at present, do little more,” Poe wrote.

More after the jump.

Posted in Poetry News on Friday, May 18th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.