In 1903, while attempting to argue that the poem ‘Leonainie’ was not an imitation of Poe but had actually been written by Poe himself, Alfred Russel Wallace compared the poem favourably to several of Poe’s later works, including ‘The Streets of Baltimore’ and ‘Farewell to Earth’. What is puzzling about this comparison is that neither of these poems is included in Poe’s collected works, as they were allegedly dictated to a spiritual medium thirteen years after Poe’s death, but according to Wallace these ‘spirit-poems’ are ‘finer and deeper and grander poems than any written by him in the earth-life’.1 Shawn Rosenheim argues that these ‘spirit-poems’ represent an act of ‘plagiarism not of a text but of a cultural space Poe’s texts inhabit, of the ideogram of literary and social values summed up in his name’.2 Rosenheim thus concludes that these poems threaten the stability of Poe’s literary identity, which prefigures a contemporary shift in our cultural definition of the literary artefact brought about by the development of new information technologies and the rise of telecommunications. The following chapter will extend this argument by examining the parallels between spiritualist writing practices, the development of new writing machines and changing notions of authorship in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.