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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This essay traces lines of influence between Edgar Allan Poe and five of his American contemporaries: George Lippard, Robert Montgomery Bird, William Gilmore Simms, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Washington Irving. Various categories of influence are identified, including suggestive parallels (allegedly present in many works by Poe and Hawthorne), negative influence (Poe avoided in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym a technique he had previously criticized in reviewing Bird’s Sheppard Lee), avowed inspiration (Poe worked from a published hint by Irving in developing the story “William Wilson”), and plagiarism (Poe plagiarized from Irving’s Astoria in his own fictionalized adventure narrative covering similar geographical/temporal terrain, “The Journal of Julius Rodman”). The current impasse in influence studies is addressed. The essay concludes by noting that Poe’s body of work betrays numerous affinities with Thomas Gray’s pamphlet The Confessions of Nat Turner, published in Baltimore in 1831, though direct influence cannot be definitively established.

Keywords: Robert Montgomery Bird, Nathaniel Hawthorne, influence studies, Washington Irving, George Lippard, plagiarism, Edgar Allan Poe, William Gilmore Simms, Nat Turner

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