Earlier this week, Jill Lepore helped our readers solve a cryptogram by Edgar Allan Poe, whom she writes about this week in the magazine.
Every code, Poe might have said, needs a coda: a few months after this business with the cryptogram, Poe left Graham’s, calling the magazine “namby-pamby.” I sometimes wonder whether he left because the magazine’s owner, George Graham, forced him to acknowledge Richard Bolton’s solution. In any case, Poe quickly turned to writing “The Gold-bug,” a story about a brilliant cryptographer, man above men, named Legrand. Meanwhile, Poe’s arch-nemesis, a fiend named Rufus Griswold, replaced him as editor of Graham’s. Earlier, Griswold had served as editor of a weekly magazine called … The New-Yorker.