Letter from Poe to autograph researcher at auction
Boston – A remarkable letter from Edgar Allan Poe to an autograph collector to be auctioned off by the Boston-based company RR auction.
The remarkable one-page handwritten letter signed “Edgar A. Poe”, dated November 16, 1843. Letter to Joseph H. Hedges, in its entirety: “I presume that the request you make, in your note of the 14th, is reference to my grandfather Gen: David Poe, not to my father David Poe Jr. I regret to say, however, that due to special circumstances I do not have in my possession any autograph of either the other. “
The recipient, Joseph H. Hedges (c. 1828-1905), was one of the first autograph collectors in Philadelphia, clearly seeking the signature of the author’s ancestor: either David Poe, Sr., a neighborhood- master during the American Revolution was David Poe, Jr., a little-known stage actor. Poe ponders the possibility of both, concluding that his grandfather – who contributed his personal wealth to the Patriot cause, earning the esteem of the Marquis de Lafayette and the honorary title of “general” – would have been better known to the public.
The “special circumstances” of Poe’s upbringing led him to have none of their papers. His father, David Poe, Jr., abandoned the family when Edgar was a child and died soon after. Her mother, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, died just before she was three, and the three Poe children were split into three separate households. Young Edgar, taken in by John and Frances Allan (and baptized with their last name as a middle name), is said to have had little family inheritance.
By the time he wrote this letter, Poe, then a magazine editor living in Philadelphia, had already written some of his best-known horror and mystery tales, including ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ ‘,’ The Mask of Red Death, ‘and’ The Pit and the Pendulum ‘; the same year, he wrote his timeless crypto classic, “The Gold Bug”. (Estimate: $ 75,000 and over)
“This is an astonishing example of an autograph letter from the American master of the macabre,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction.
The sale also includes several letters from Einstein with significant content on science and religion. Among them is an important scientific letter documenting an early and critical step in Einstein’s reassessment of the concept of aether. Einstein here gives a substantial account of “the state of the ether question”. After first giving a brief historical overview of the aether, Einstein then examines its relationship and its implications for the theory of relativity: “The special theory of relativity is based on the knowledge that there can be no question of ‘such a state of movement. [of the ether]”Says Einstein here.” If we want to speak of the ether as a ‘carrier’ of electromagnetic phenomena, then this carrier must be something completely different from what we otherwise call ‘body’, because one cannot talk about “movement” with him. . Under these circumstances, it seems better to drop the whole concept and talk more about electromagnetic and gravitational fields, but not to see them as states of something else. “Einstein concludes forcefully that” only these [gravitational and electromagnetic] fields appear in laws [of physics]”- sternly pointing to General Relativity as the necessary intellectual context in which the ether issue must be resolved.
New and unknown to scholarship, this letter is a valuable and important addition to our knowledge of Einstein’s evolutionary view of the ether. Written at an early stage in Einstein’s reassessment of the concept of aether – before any formal public statement on the “new aether” – the contents of this letter decidedly foreshadow Einstein’s first public announcement of his views in 1920. Historians of science are now finding their way to this “ethereal” aspect of Einstein’s thought – Ludwig Kostro’s Einstein and Ether is the key text in the field – and this letter is a recently discovered document from of crucial importance for historical archives. (Estimate: $ 50,000 and over)
And an Isaac Newton manuscript on religion. The important religious manuscript of a manuscript page of Isaac Newton, undated. Newton evokes a central principle of Christianity, researching the origin of the doctrine of the trinity, writing in full: “The Council of Nice, in decreeing that the son was consubstantial with the father, understood that the father and the son were two substances. This is what the word ὁμοούσιος implies. But Hosius who (a – Athanas) published the Nicene Creed translated it unius substantiæ, and this translation gave the occasion to some Latins to take the father and the son for one substance, and to the Greeks of this opinion to translate unius substantiae by μιᾶς οὐσίας and μιᾶς ὑποστάσεως and Western bishops Serdica Council to declare that μίαν εἶναι ὑπόστασιν ῆν ἀντὸι ἀιρετικὸι οὐσίαν προσαγορεύουσιν, τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος, there is only hypostasis of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. “
This meaningful autograph statement illuminates the heart of Newton’s religious heresy. Newton had a view of the Trinity at odds with the Church of England – a heretical view punishable by death – and here he articulates the basis of his theological perspective. The document is a superb testament to Newton’s critical thinking and philosophical insight; his use of Greek writing is rare. A central document for our understanding of Newton’s vision of God. (Estimate: $ 25,000 and over)
The sale of autographs and artifacts by RR Auction began on January 22 and will end on February 10. www.rrauction.com.