Edgar Allan Poe
In 2009, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, one of America’s most extraordinary poets and fiction writers. For more than a century and a half, Poe and his works have been praised by admirers around the world, including English poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who dubbed Poe “the literary glory of America.” British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called him “the supreme original short story writer of all time.”
The stamp portrait of Edgar Allan Poe is by award-winning artist Michael J. Deas, whose research over the years has made him well acquainted with Poe’s appearance. In 1989, Deas published The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe, a comprehensive collection of images featuring authentic likenesses as well as derivative portraits. The portrait for the stamp was done in oils on a wooden panel.
The selvage art (not shown here) is by Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), a French-born British illustrator whose works have appeared in such classics as The Arabian Nights (1907), The Tempest (1908), and The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1909). The selvage illustration is from The Bells and Other Poems (1912, Hodder and Stoughton).
The quotation on the selvage is from Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven,” first published in 1845.