The Stylus

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For other uses, see Stylus (disambiguation). The Stylus_sentence_0

The Stylus, originally intended to be named The Penn, was a would-be periodical owned and edited by Edgar Allan Poe. The Stylus_sentence_1

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. The Stylus_sentence_2

Despite attempts at signing up subscribers and finding financial backers and contributors, the journal never came to be. The Stylus_sentence_3

Overview The Stylus_section_0

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. The Stylus_sentence_4

Originally, Poe intended to call the journal The Penn, as it would have been based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Stylus_sentence_5

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. The Stylus_sentence_6

Poe." The Stylus_sentence_7

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". The Stylus_sentence_8

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". The Stylus_sentence_9

Georgia poet Thomas Holley Chivers claimed he suggested it to Poe. The Stylus_sentence_10

It was renamed The Stylus, a pun on the word "Penn" ("pen") and specifically "the Pen with which the Greeks used to write". The Stylus_sentence_11

F. The Stylus_sentence_12 O. C. Darley signed a contract on January 31, 1843, to create original illustrations for The Stylus. The Stylus_sentence_13

The contract requested at least three illustrations per month, "on wood or paper as required," but no more than five. The Stylus_sentence_14

Darley would have earned $7 per illustration. The Stylus_sentence_15

The contract was through July 1, 1844. The Stylus_sentence_16

Shortly after this contract was put in place, Darley illustrated Poe's tale "The Gold-Bug". The Stylus_sentence_17

On February 25, 1843, another announcement for The Stylus was made which took up an entire page. The Stylus_sentence_18

In it, Poe's status as a poet was emphasized and it included the first published image of Poe; Poe wrote of it, "I am ugly enough God knows, but not quite so bad as that." The Stylus_sentence_19

In a letter to James Russell Lowell dated March 30, 1844, Poe outlined the kind of journal America needed: The Stylus_sentence_20

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." The Stylus_sentence_21

Even so, he never saw his dream come true despite having several published solicitations for subscribers. The Stylus_sentence_22

He came close, however, when he became the owner and editor of the Broadway Journal in October 1845. The Stylus_sentence_23

It ceased publication shortly thereafter when its final edition appeared on January 3, 1846. The Stylus_sentence_24

In a letter to Sarah Josepha Hale in January 1846, Poe wrote that, "The B. The Stylus_sentence_25

Journal had fulfilled its destiny... The Stylus_sentence_26

I had never regarded it as more than a temporary adjunct to other design." The Stylus_sentence_27

That great design, Poe said, was to continue his plans for the establishment of his own magazine. The Stylus_sentence_28

By August 1846, he called The Stylus "the one great purpose of my literary life." The Stylus_sentence_29

He prophetically added, "Undoubtedly (unless I die) I will accomplish it." The Stylus_sentence_30

Fundraising The Stylus_section_1

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. The Stylus_sentence_31

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. The Stylus_sentence_32

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. The Stylus_sentence_33

After Poe began work on Graham's Magazine, Graham published an announcement in the Saturday Evening Post that The Penn was to be "suspended". The Stylus_sentence_34

Another possible financial backer was fellow poet Thomas Holley Chivers, a wealthy friend of Poe who would later defend Poe's posthumous reputation. The Stylus_sentence_35

Chivers at the time believed Poe was under-appreciated, especially for his work with Graham's Magazine, but was concerned with his harsh literary criticism. The Stylus_sentence_36

Chivers may also have been offered the position of co-editor. The Stylus_sentence_37

He turned down the proposition because of the distraction caused by the death of his three-year-old daughter. The Stylus_sentence_38

In early 1843, Poe contacted Thomas C. Clarke, publisher of Philadelphia's Saturday Museum. The Stylus_sentence_39

A contract was signed on January 31, 1843, with the agreement that the first issue would be issued on July 1. The Stylus_sentence_40

They considered purchasing the subscription list of the Southern Literary Messenger around February. The Stylus_sentence_41

By May of that year, Clarke withdrew his support in part because of difficulties with his own magazine and in part because of concerns over Poe's drinking. The Stylus_sentence_42

In February 1848, Poe presented a lecture titled "On The Cosmography of the Universe" (later printed as Eureka: A Prose Poem) at the Society Library in New York. The Stylus_sentence_43

Poe had hoped the profits from the lecture would raise significant funds for The Stylus. The Stylus_sentence_44

He had expected an audience of hundreds; only 60 people attended and, of those, most were confused by the topic. The Stylus_sentence_45

One newspaper reviewed the lecture very favorably and acknowledged its importance as a fund raiser: The Stylus_sentence_46

Poe had a fair amount of support for The Stylus in the literary world. The Stylus_sentence_47

William Gilmore Simms wrote in June 1843, "Mr. Poe is well calculated to conduct a literary magazine. The Stylus_sentence_48

He is acknowledged as one of our best writers and critics." The Stylus_sentence_49

Several people and organizations subscribed to the journal before Poe's death. The Stylus_sentence_50

A list of potential subscribers he kept included Nathan C. Brooks, William Cullen Bryant, Sarah Josepha Hale, Charles Fenno Hoffman, John Pendleton Kennedy, George Lippard, James Russell Lowell, Anna Cora Mowatt, Frances Sargent Osgood, James Kirke Paulding, Thomas Mayne Reid, Jeremiah N. Reynolds, and Nathaniel Parker Willis. The Stylus_sentence_51

Several student societies also were interested in subscribing, including ones located at Dickinson College, Hampden-Sydney College, Jefferson College, Lafayette College, Marshall College, St. The Stylus_sentence_52 John's College, and St. The Stylus_sentence_53 Mary's College of Maryland. The Stylus_sentence_54

Contents The Stylus_section_2

Poe had lofty plans for the make-up of the magazine. The Stylus_sentence_55

He was planning on setting standards very high, anticipating finer quality paper, superior woodcuts, sharper criticism, and bolder original fiction. The Stylus_sentence_56

These higher standards would be reflected in a higher than usual annual subscription price of $5. The Stylus_sentence_57

Early in its planning stages, he promised financial backers that he would start with 500 subscribers - a number which he expected to be 5,000 before the end of its second year. The Stylus_sentence_58

"There is no earthly reason why," he said, "such a Magazine may not, eventually, reach a circulation as great as that of Graham's at present - viz 50,000". The Stylus_sentence_59

He also anticipated having correspondents in Berlin and Paris. The Stylus_sentence_60

James Russell Lowell offered a poem and also convinced Nathaniel Hawthorne to contribute a short story to the first issue in 1843. The Stylus_sentence_61


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Stylus.