The conchologist's first book, or, A system of testaceous malacology : arranged expressly for the use of schools, in which the animals, according to Cuvier, are given with the shells, a great number of new species added, and the whole brought up, as accurately as possible, to the present condition of the science / by Edgar A. Poe ; with illustrations of two hundred and fifteen shells presenting a correct type of each new genus.

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849.
Philadelphia : Published for the author, by Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell, 1839 ([Philadelphia : Haswell, Barrington and Haswell])
156 p., 12 leaves of plates : ill. (lithographs) ; 18 cm.

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Other Title:
System of testaceous malacology
Stated by R.W. Griswold, in the International monthly magazine, Oct. 1850, to be a copy, nearly verbatim, of Thomas Brown's The conchologist's text-book (Glasgow 1833; reprinted unchanged through 5th ed., 1839); in fact a reduction, by Poe and Thomas Wyatt (with the "private assistance" of Isaac Lea, according to the preface), of Wyatt's A manual of conchology (1838), modelled on and partly plagiarized from Brown's book, with additional material. The introduction, in part, and the whole of "Explanation of the parts of shells" are taken (with minimal adaptation) from Brown; the illustrations are copied from Brown, in part rearranged to follow Wyatt's quite different system of arrangement; and the descriptions consist of excerpts from Wyatt's descriptions of the shells, together with a translation of Cuvier's descriptions of the animals, which were described neither by Brown nor by Wyatt. See "Poe's greatest hit", in Stephen Jay Gould, Dinosaur in a haystack (1995), p. 173-186.
Plates lithographed by P.S. Duval.
Three issues noted by Heartman. "A": bound in vari-colored boards, with leather backing, and lithographed plates in color. "B": the same, except with black and white ill. Both are lettered on front cover: The Conchologist's First Book on a marine scene with shells. "C": larger format, plates uncolored, bound in brown cloth with gilt lettering on spine.
Errata: p. 156.
Includes index.
Local notes:
RBC copy: condition B.
Penn Provenance:
Burr, Charles W. (Charles Walts), 1861- (bookplate) (donor)
Penn Chronology:
Cited in:
Heartman & Canny Poe (Rev. ed.), p. 41-42
Robertson J. W. Poe, V.I, p. 42; V.II, p. 181
BAL 16131
Lea, Isaac, 1792-1886.
Brown, Thomas, 1785-1862. Conchologist's text-book.
Wyatt, Thomas. Manual of conchology.
Cuvier, Georges, baron, 1769-1832. Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire et à l'anatomie des mollusques.