In the summer of 2013, what purported to be a manuscript of “The Conqueror Worm,” written entirely in Poe's hand, unexpectedly appeared at auction. Its history was essentially unknown, but there were tantalizing clues that prevented it from being dismissed outright as a forgery. Could it be genuine? An initial examination was inconclusive. Subsequent evaluation of the manuscript, however, not only reveals much about the document itself, and Poe's iconic poem, but also allows an enlightening opportunity to peer into the misty realm of authenticating rare artifacts.

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