Things That Delight Me: 6 – Poe’s Tales

This is another wonderful, beautiful artifact that you can get on ebay or amazon’s rare book search for not a huge amount of money (between $25 and $250). It’s a great gift if you know someone with goth sensibilities…

Tales of Mystery and Imagination - cover plate

Tales of Mystery and Imagination – cover plate

The font is elegant, the paper is rich (though it isn’t buffered and can develop mold or attract worms, which is appropriate for this book)…


I love the way the cover is done; it’s a separate piece of paper pasted onto the front board. Simple, elegant, beautiful.


“Avast there a bit, I say, and tell us who the devil ye all are!”

You are probably concluding that I like art deco and am an Aubrey Beardsley fan. If you are, you are so right.


“In his toilsome journey to the water, his fears redouble within him”

There are some color plates as well, but the black and white ones are my favorites.

If you don’t like old books, there is a 2008 reprint out from Calla Editions, which is often less expensive than the older edition (~$25). If you’re looking for an older edition on Ebay, make sure it’s the John Little and Sons edition from 1923-1933 (there are various editions and the prices range fairly steeply based on age)


And, it just so happens that I have a copy sitting right here, which someone pasted an “ex libris” into and then tore off, which has a label on the spine (also torn off) and is in what I’d call “not quite giftable condition”

If any of you in the commentariat would like it, or know someone who needs a copy, I’d be happy to hear your reasons and we’ll collectively decide who gets it, or if it stays on my shelf without human hands to love its pages.



  1. kestrel says

    I love this type of art too and it has influenced me to a certain extent… I do some graphic work which was inspired by this type of art. I also love Edgar Allan Poe and for the longest time had the entire “The Raven” poem memorized… now all I can say is, I know most of it. There are a few lines I can’t recall all the time, so have to look them up! Gorgeous book.

  2. Bruce H says

    Care for a trade? My Poe book probably isn’t very rare, , but it is quite nice. Here’s some pics. It’s one of my favorite books, but I think it could be time that someone else enjoyed it.

    Edgar Allen Poe
    Selected Poems & Tales
    Illustrated by Mark Summers
    Introduction by Neil Gaiman
    2004 Barnes and Noble Books

  3. says

    That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
    And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

    Ah, Poe. I first discovered him in 6th grade and have loved him ever since. Alas, I have not such a proper edition of his works. I rely upon my well thumbed Knickerbocker Classics Complete Tales. Yours is beautiful and The green monster does ride upon my shoulder.

  4. rq says

    It is a book that someone is offering for very low cost. This is why I must have it.
    And I like the pictures. It’ll go up there right beside Edward Gorey.