Abstract

Abstract:

When composing his never-published collection of Folio Club tales, Poe read extensively in popular novels of the British "Silver Fork" school. Scholars have explored Poe's repeated borrowings from these works but neglected the significance for the Folio Club design of the infamous London publishing enterprise of Henry Colburn that produced them. This article attempts to clarify that significance in terms of recent scholarship on the marketplace and the political dimensions of Poe's Folio Club project. After initially summarizing traditional approaches, the article demonstrates how new studies of the satires of Andrew Jackson in the collection suggest his administration served as an indirect model for Poe's literary "Junto," then shows how Meredith McGill, Leon Jackson, and J. Gerald Kennedy's recent explorations of the economics and print culture of Poe's literary marketplace offer fresh perspectives on the collection's framestory. The article argues in particular that those perspectives illuminate Poe's use of Henry Colburn's school of Silver Fork novelists as a ready model for the Folio Club itself. Thus Colburn's management of the composition, puffing, and critical reception of his authors' novels evidently provided Poe with a transatlantic example of what Kennedy calls the "system of literary production" represented by the Folio Club. Furthermore, this same scholarship makes clear that the young writer had good reason for seeking such a model abroad: Henry Colburn's marketing of his authors involved the kind of centralized control of literary publishing absent in the decentered, regionally dispersed marketplace Poe faced in the United States of the 1830s.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-2932
Print ISSN
2150-0428
Pages
pp. 153-176
Launched on MUSE
2018-11-14
Open Access
No
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