Edgar Allan Poe — “The Masque of the Red Death”


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Commentary:

Characters:

  • (narrator) - Under development.

Setting:

Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.

Summary:

Under development.


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Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — reading copy

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Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Mask of the Red Death. A Fantasy.” — 1842, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02)
  • Text-02 — “The Mask of the Red Death. A Fantasy.” — May 1842 — Graham’s — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Mask of the Red Death” — 1842 — TGAPP (manuscript of title only) — (The title is listed in Poe’s handwritten table of contents, but the text itself no longer survives. It was probably a modified version of the printed text from Graham’s Magazine, and is presumably recorded, with perhaps a few additional changes made in proof, in Text-04. One obvious change is the spelling of “Mask,” which may have been made on the text but never found its way back to the table of contents as the project was ultimately abandoned. The title still appears as “The Mask of the Red Death” in the Saturday Museum article on Poe, printed on February 25, 1843 and again on March 4, 1843, so the change in title had presumably not yet occurred, or it was allowed to stand in the only form in which it had thus far been printed.)
  • Text-04 — “The Masque of the Red Death” — July 19, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text B) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see that entry below, under Reprints.)

 

Reprints:

  • “The Mask of the Red Death” — April 30, 1842 — Baltimore Saturday Visiter  (acknowledged from Text-02)
  • “The Mask of the Red Death” — June 4, 1842 — The Literary Souvenir (Lowell, MA)
  • “The Mask of the Red Death. A Fantasy” — July 1842 — The Iris and Literary Repository (Concord, NH; Lowell and Boston, MA) (pp. 113-116) (This reprint is noted in the1992 “The Poe Catalogue” of the 19th Century Bookshop, p. 53. It is not mentioned by H&C or Mabbott. An examination of the volume suggests that it is an unacknowledged reprint from Graham’s, very likely through The Literary Souvenir. It is noted as “BY EDGAR A. POE.” The only other Poe reference in The Iris is a brief comment, at the end of “Literary Notices,” from the issue for August, 1842: “RUFUS W. GRISWOLD. — This gentleman, the well known author of “The Poets and Poetry of America,” has recently become an associate editor of Graham’s Magazine. He will undoubtedly prove a valuable acquisition to the corps editorial. One of the former editors, Edgar A. Poe, Esq., is not, at the present time connected with the publication.” (p. 160, col. 2).)
  • “The Mask of the Red Death” — September 13, 1845 — Vermont Journal (Windsor, VT) (vol. II, no. 3, p. 1, cols. 1-3, acknowledged from Text-04, but curiously with the original form of the title.)
  • The Masque of the Red Death” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text-04 (with some minor editorial corrections) (Mabbott text C)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 339-345 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe’s Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 251-257 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — March 1897 — Peterson’s Magazine

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (1:249-257)
  • The Masque of the Red Death” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 4: Tales III, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (4:250-258, and 4:319-320)
  • The Masque of the Red Death” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:667-678)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 485-490

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Comparative Texts:

Instream Comparative Texts:

  • None.

 

Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None.

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Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Le masque de la Mort Rouge” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • “Le masque de la Mort Rouge” — February 22-23, 1855 — Le Pays
      • “Le masque de la Mort Rouge” — Part I  (February 22, 1855)
      • “Le masque de la Mort Rouge” — Part II  (February 23, 1855)
    • “Le masque de la Mort Rouge” — 1857 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “[The Masque of the Red Death]” — 1882 — Valda noveller (Stockholm)  (Swedish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 54)
  • “De Maskerade van den Rooden Dood” — about 1930 — Fantastische Vertellingen van Edgar Allan Poe, Haarlem: H. D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon (Dutch translation by Machiel Elias Barentz, with elaborate illustrations by Albert Hahn, somewhat reminiscent of those by Harry Clarke)
  • “Kizil Ölümün Maskesi” — 1955 — Altin Böcek [Golden Beetle], Varlik edition, Istanbul (Turkish translation) (the small softbound book has 109 pages. It features “The Gold-Bug” but includes seven other tales.)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1956 — a reading by Nelson Olmsted on Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Terror, issued on the Vanguard label (VRS-9007)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 1962 — a reading by Richard Taylor on Terror: The Son of Horror, issued on the Random Records label (M-38, side B) (running time, around 14:59) (This is a very cheaply produced 33 1/3 LP, with a single narrator speaking in a loud whispter over a background of atmospheric music played by a small orchestra. The jacket features simple black and white graphics. The narrator, who has a surprisingly high voice and a detectable Brooklyn accent, is noted as being 21 at the time of the recording. A curious adaptation is that the narrator is made to be Prince Prospero himself. This album was initially advertised for $2.98, and 25¢ for shipping and handling. This was part of a series of 4 albums. Side A of this album contained “The Premature Burial.”)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — September 1964 — Movie Classics (a comic-book tie-in, published by Dell, to the API movie)
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — October 29, 1996 — a radio show broadcast on the NPR Playhouse show, noted as Generations Readio Theater. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.) The show was produced by Winnie Waldron and Winifred Phillips.
  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — 2007 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo

Forgeries:

  • “The Masque of the Red Death” — (Fragment, 1 page, 3 9/16 x 2 1/2 inches, comprising the following text: “[. . .] here were scarlet — a deep blood color. Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended [. . .]” The text is written in what appears to be brown ink, running from left to right edges, on only one side of the page, apparently in an attempt to imitate Poe’s use of roll manuscripts. The fragment was offered as a genuine Poe manuscript by New England Book Auctions, Sale Number 366, October 21, 2008, as item 203, with an estimate of $10,000-$15,000, but was promptly retracted from sale over doubts about its authenticity. It was in the collection of Richard Oinonen, who died in 2001, and is probably the work of Joseph Cosey. It may have been kept by Mr. Oinonen as an example of a forgery by someone who was notably notorious in the field, especially for his Poe forgeries.)

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Bibliography:

  • Anderson, Carl L., Poe in Northlight: The Scandanavian Response to His Life and Work, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1973.
  • Arai, Toshikazu, “Edgar Allan Poe’s View of Life and Death: Structural Analysis of ‘The Masque of the Red Death,” Kenkyu ronshu (Soai Women’s College), 1995, 42:1-7
  • Benton, Richard P., “ ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ — The Primary Source,” American Transcendental Quarterly, first quarter 1969, 1:12-13
  • Cary, Richard, “ ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ Again,” Nineteenth Century Fiction, June 1962, 17:76-78
  • Fussell, Edwin, Frontier: American Literature and the American West, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1965
  • Gerber, Gerald E., “Additional Sources for ‘The Masque of the Red Death’,” American Literature, 1965, 37:52-54
  • Gonzales, Joseph F., “A Scrim for Poe’s Screams, “ English Journal, 1964, 53:531-532.
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Herndon, Jerry A., “ ‘The Masque of the Red Death’: A Note on Hawthorne’s Influence,” Masques, Mysteries, and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany, ed. Benjamin F. Fisher, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2006, pp. 38-44
  • Holsapple, C. K., “ ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ and ‘I Promesi Sposi’,” University of Texas Studies in English, 1938, 18:137-139.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978.
  • Magnuson, M. Denise Schimp, “The Narrative ‘Mask of the Red Death’,” Masques, Mysteries, and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany, ed. Benjamin F. Fisher, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2006, pp. 31-37
  • Mohr, Franz K., “The Influence of Eichendorff’s ‘Ahnung und Gegenwart’ on Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’,” Modern Language Quarterly, March 1949, 10:3-15
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Notre Dame de Paris in Two of Poe’s Tales,” Revue des Langues Vivantes (Bruxelles), 1968, 34:354-365
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Poe’s ’shadow’ as a Source of his ‘The Masque of the Red Death,” Studies in Short Fiction, Fall 1968, 6:104-107
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Victor Hugo and Poe,” Revue de Litterature Comparee, Oct. - Dec. 1968, 42:494-519
  • Reece, James B., “New Light on Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death,” Modern Language Notes, February 1953, 68:114-115
  • Roppolo, Joseph, “Meaning and ‘The Masque of the Red Death’,” Tulane Studies in English, 1963, 13:59-69
  • Rosenblum, Joseph, “ ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ as a Diddle,” Masques, Mysteries, and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany, ed. Benjamin F. Fisher, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2006, pp. 24-30
  • Shillingsburg, Miriam J., The Apocalyptic Vision of “The Masque of the Red Death”, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2007
  • Solomont, Susan and Ritchie Darling, Four Stories by Poe, Norwich, VT: Green Knight Press, 1965
  • Vanderbilt, Kermit, “Art and Nature in ‘The Masque of the Red Death’,” Nineteenth Century Fiction, March 1968, 22:379-389
  • Weber, Jean-Paul, “Edgar Poe on the Theme of the Clock,” La Nouvelle Revue Francais (August-September 1958), 68:301-311 and 69:498-508.
  • Wyllie, John Cooke, “A List of the Texts of Poe’s Tales,” Humanistic Studies in Honor of John Calvin Metcalf, Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1941, pp. 322-338.

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tales - The Masque of the Red Death