Autographed copy of "The Raven," The Richard Gimbel Collection, Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia, Date Unknown

Poe spent four years writing and revising “The Raven.” Shortly before its publication, he explained to a friend how the work haunted him: “that bird, that imp pursues me, mentally, perpetually: I cannot rid myself of its presence; as I sit here, I hear its croak… the flap of its wings in my ear.” In the winter of 1844-1845, Poe sold the manuscript to The American Review for $10.  Though the poem was wildly popular and its publication made Poe a household name, it did not bring financial success.

This is believed to be the only complete autograph manuscript of “The Raven” extant.