"Illustrated" books for short stories or poems were a big thing in the 1880s.
Between 1883 & 1884, 2 completely different such books were published featuring illustrated versions of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous and popular poem...
It was doing online research the very day I was beginning to set up this page where I discovered it was really 2 different books I was looking at. (Kinda reminds me of when "TOMBSTONE" and "WYATT EARP" came out within 6 months of each other... or, for that matter, "FAIL-SAFE" and "DR. STRANGELOVE".)
The first of the 2 books, from E.P. Dutton & Company in New York, features the art of William Ladd Taylor.
It turns out there have been at least 3 recent reprints of this book, apparently NONE of them with what I'd describe as high-quality images. Nonetheless, I'm going to set up what I can here, and in most place, replace the text with mere type in order to save space on this blog page.
Oddly enough, this reprint seems to be of an English edition, not the New York one, which only makes me wonder if the loss of quality may have gone all the way back to the 1880s!
When I started this project back in October 2014, I never imagined I would still be at it 3-1/2 years later. And it continues to feel like I'm "just getting started".
cover by WILLIAM LADD TAYLOR
(E.P. Dutton & Company / New York / 1883)
By Edgar Allan Poe (Version 2 / Art by WILLIAM LADD TAYLOR)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—Page 13
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floorShall be lifted—nevermore!
cover by ?? (Griffith & Farron / London / 1883)
cover by ?? (E/P. Dutton & Company / ??)
cover by ?? (Nabu Press / March 12, 2012)
cover by ?? (Create Space Independant Publishing Platform / April 26, 2014)
cover by ?? (Palala Press / Scholar Select / November 15, 2015)
Scans of THE RAVEN (2015) from MY collection.
Photo from the W.L. Taylor, American Illustrator site.
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.
Read about Wiliam Ladd Taylor at Wikipedia.
Read about Basil Rathbone at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.
Read about Christopher Lee at Wikipedia.
Read about The Raven at Wikipedia.
Read the complete poem at the Poetry Foundation site.
Hear the Basil Rathbone recording!
See the Vincent Price performance!
Hear the Christopher Lee recording!
See the James William Carling RAVEN illustrations!
See the William Ladd Taylor RAVEN illustrations!
See the Gustave Dore RAVEN illustrations!
See the Galen J. Perrett RAVEN illustrations!
See the John Rea Neill RAVEN illustrations! (coming soon!)
See the Ferdinand H. Horvath RAVEN illustrations!
Read the Harvey Kurtzman / Will Elder RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Wally Wood RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Mort Drucker RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Frank Springer RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Nico Rosso RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 2 George Woodbridge RAVEN adaptations!
Read the Richard Corben RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Peter Cappiello RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Paul Coker, Jr. RAVEN adaptation! (coming soon!)
Read the Steve Ditko RAVEN story!
Read the Jeff Bonivert RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Ricardo Leite RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Jerry Gersten RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Gahan Wilson RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 1st Luciano Irrthum RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 2nd Luciano Irrthum RAVEN adaptation
at the Canibuk blog!
Read the Thomas Eide RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 2nd Richard Corben RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Eureka Productions RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Stuart Tipples RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Mangosta RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 3rd Luciano Irrthum RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Lorenzo Mattotti RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Yein Yip RAVEN adaptation!
Read the David G. Fores RAVEN adaptation!
Read the 3rd Richard Corben RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Edu Molina RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Duncan Long RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Terrier Studios RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Pete Katz RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Gareth Hinds RAVEN adaptation!
See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!
(Continued in Poe 1884)