Edgar Allan Poe — “The Gold-Bug”


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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 Gold-Bug” — reading copy

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Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 “The Gold-Bug” — about October 1842 — roll MS, not seen since 1843, and almost surely lost after printing, but presumably recorded in Text-02. F. O. C. Darley wrote to G. E. Woodberry on February 26, 1884: “I remember his reading his ‘Gold Bug’ and ‘Black Cat’ to me before they were published. The form of his manuscript was peculiar: he wrote on half sheets of note paper, which he pasted together at the ends, making one continuous piece, which he rolled up tightly. As he read he dropped it upon the floor. It was very neatly written, and without corrections, apparently” (Woodberry, 1885, p. 181, and repeated, 1909, 2:2-3). Poe originally sold the story to George Rex Graham for Graham’s Magazine, but exchanged it for “some critical papers” (Poe to Graham, undated but quoted by Graham in Graham’s Magazine, March 1850). Poe seems to have intended to use the story, in two parts, in his own projected magazing, theStylus, and contracted with Darley to provide the illustrations. When he was forced to abandon his plans for the magazine, he submitted the story to the Dollar Newspaper (see Savoye). In printing the prize-winning tale, Darley’s illustrations were used.
  • Text-02 — “The Gold-Bug” — 1843 — Dollar Newspaper — (Mabbott text A)
    • The Gold-Bug” - Part I — June 21, 1843 (with illustration #1 by F. O. C. Darley)
    • The Gold-Bug” - Parts I & II — June 28, 1843 (with illustrations #1 and #2 by F. O. C. Darley) (the publishers issued several subsequent reprints, see below)
  • Text-03 — “The Gold-Bug” — 1844-1845, presumed revised copy of the Dollar Newspaper, in preparation for TALES
  • Text-04 — “The Gold-Bug” — 1845 — TALES — (Mabbott text B) (For Griswold’s 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.)
  • Text-05 — “The Gold-Bug” — 1846-1849 — manuscript revisions in J. L. Graham copy of TALES — (Mabbott text C)  (This is Mabbott’s copy text)

 

Reprints:

  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1843 — Saturday Courier (reprinted from Text-02) (A copy of all three issues may be found in the Koester Poe Collection, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas as Austin)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — June 24, 1843
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — July 1, 1843
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part III — July 8, 1843 (with illustration #2 by F. O. C. Darley) (A. H. Quinn p. 392, states that this last installment includes both illustrations, and this is verified by the copy in the Koester Collection)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 12-20, 1843 — the Dollar Newspaper (several reprints were made to satisfy public demand. These reprints are noted in contemporary copies of the Philadelphia Public Ledger, issued by the same publishers and sold from their offices. The story is printed in full in each of these issues, using the same type as the earlier printings, and with the two illustrations. According to the Ledger, these issues were available with or without wrappers.)
    • The Gold-Bug” — July 12, 1843 — Dollar Newspaper, supplement (third edition)
    • “The Gold-Bug” — July 14, 1843 — Dollar Newspaper, special printing (fourth edition)
    • “The Gold-Bug” — July 20, 1843 — Dollar Newspaper, special printing (fifth, and final edition of this run)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 24-27, 1843 — Batimore Sun (acknowledged as reprinted from Text-02) (The Sun also reprinted the second and third prize stories)
    • “The Gold-Bug [Part I]” — July 24, 1843 — Baltimore Sun (p. 1, cols. 3-5)
    • “The Gold-Bug [Part II]” — July 25, 1843 — Baltimore Sun (p. 1, cols. 3-6)
    • “The Gold-Bug [Part III]” — July 26, 1843 — Baltimore Sun (p. 1, cols 4-6)
    • “The Gold-Bug [Part IV]” — July 27, 1843 — Baltimore Sun (p. 1, cols. 4-6)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 27-August 3, 1843 — the Elmira Gazette (Elmira, NY) (reprinted from Text-02, acknowledged and with Poe’s name, but without illustrations)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — July 27, 1843
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — August 3, 1843
  • “The Gold-Bug” — August 3-17, 1843 — the Volunteer (Montrose, PA) (reprinted from Text-02)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — August 3, 1843
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — August 10, 1843
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part III — August 17, 1843
  • “The Gold Bug” — 1846-1847, pirated reprint in pamphlet form, London  (reprinted from Text-04)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 22, 1848 — the Boston Museum  (reprinted from Text-04)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — September 7, 1848 — the Maine Farmer (Augusta, ME)  (reprinted from Text-04)
  • “The Gold Bug; or, the Treasures of Kidd” — November 1849 — the Salem Gazette (without illustrations)
    • “The Gold Bug” - Part I  (November 23, 1849)
    • “The Gold Bug” - Part II  (November 30, 1849?)
  • “The Gold Bug” — December 1849 — the General Advertiser (Providence, RI) (published every Saturday) (without illustrations) (The story is acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe”)
    • “The Gold Bug” - Part I  (December 15, 1849) (p. 1, cols. 6-8, continuing on p. 2, col. 1)
    • “The Gold Bug” - Part II  (December 22, 1849) (p. 1, cols. 6-8, continuing on p. 2, col. 1 )
  • The Gold-Bug” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold merely reprints Text-02  (Mabbott text D)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1852 — Tales and Sketches: to which is added The Raven: A Poem, London, George Routledge & Co.
  • “The Gold-Beetle” — 1852 — Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Humour; and Poems, London: Henry Vizetelly (An undated edition appears about the same time, published by Charles H. Clark, pp. 1-46.) (In England, a “bug” is specifically thought of as a “bed-bug,” hence this slight and curious change in the title of the tale.)
  • “The Gold-Beetle” — 1855 — Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Halifax: Milner and Sowerby (pp. 1-41)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 27-August 3, 1853 — the Dollar Newspaper (without illustrations)  (reprinted from the 1843 Dollar Newspaper, but newly set in type)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — July 27, 1853
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — August 3, 1853
  • “The Gold-Bug” — February 1854 — Vox Populi (Lowell, MA) (without illustrations) (reprinted from the 1853 issue of the Dollar Newspaper)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — February 17, 1854
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — February 24, 1854
  • “The Gold-Bug” — July 1857 — White Cloud Kansas Chief (White Cloud, KS) (without illustrations) (acknowledged as from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, probably from the 1853 reissue. For both issues, it appears on the front page.)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — July 2, 1857
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — July 9, 1857
  • “The Gold-Bug” — February 1859 — New York Weekly News (without illustrations)  (Reprinted from the 1853 issue of the Dollar Newspaper. Mentioned in Mabbott’s hand-written notes at the U. of IA as “evidence of popularity.” The New York Daily News apparently reprinted the story on February 7, 1859, based on announcements in other papers.)
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part I — February 12, 1859
    • “The Gold-Bug” - Part II — February 19, 1859
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 52-87 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe’s Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 1-38 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1875 — Little Classics, vol. XII: Fortune, Boston: James R. Osgood & Co. (This 18 volume series, edited by Rossiter Johnson, contains selections from many authors, including Poe, Dickens, and Hawthorne. Each volume is theoretically comprised around a different theme.)
  • “The Gold Bug” — October 31, 1883 — Swinton’s Story-Teller: A Weekly of Choice Complete Tales, pp. 14-27 (a general reprint)
  • “The Gold Bug” — December 6, 1914 — Hartford Courant (p. X8) (excerpt) (this item is noted by George Monteiro, “Fugitive Reprints,” E. A. Poe Review, Fall 2010, p. 162.)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1930 — Treasure Trove of Pirate Stories, a Collection of Pirate Stories for Young People, edited by Ramon Wilke Kessler, New York: D. Appleton and Co. (with illustrations by A. O. Scott)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — April 1934 — Amazing Stories, vol. 8, no. 12. (a pulp magazine, with an original price of 25 cents)

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (3:5-52)
  • The Gold-Bug” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:95-142, and 5:321-322)
  • The Gold-Bug” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:799-847)
  • “The Gold-Bug” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 560-596

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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:

  • The Gold-Bug” — July 8, 1843 — Philadelphia Saturday Museum (a considerably abridged version)
  • “Le Scarabée d’Or” — (French translation signed “A. B.” H&C give this name more fully as Alphonse Borghers. Mabbott notes Alphonse Borghers as a pseudonym, and the translator’s real name as Amédée Pichot, the chief editor of the Revue, see Bandy, 79:277-280, Mabbott, T&S, 1978, p. 805. )
    • “Le Scarabée d’Or” — November 1845 — Revue britannique, pp. 168-212
    • “Le Scarabée d’Or” — 1853 — Nouvelles choisies d‘Edgard A. Poë, Paris: Hachette
    • “Le Scarabée d’Or” — September 7, 1853 — Le Moniteur Universel  (long extracts)
  • “Zolotoj zuk” — 1847, Novaja bibliotecka dlja vospitanija [New Library for Education]  (Russian translation, selected by P. Redkin) (illustrated ?)
  • “Amerikanskij iskatel’ kladov [An American Searcher for Treasure]” — 1848, Bibliotecka dlja ctenija [Library for Reading]
  • “Le Scarabee d’Or” — (French translation signed “Isabelle Meunier”)
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” — May 23-27, 1848 — La Démocratie Pacifique
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part I — May 23, 1848
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part II — May 25, 1848
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part III — May 27, 1848
  • “Le Scarabee d’Or” — June 17-24, 1848 — Le Journal du Loiret
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part I — June 17, 1848
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part II — June 20, 1848
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part III — June 22, 1848
    • “Le Scarabee d’Or” - Part IV — June 24, 1848
  • “Le scarabée d’Or” — (French translation by William L. Hughes)
    • “Le scarabée d’Or” — October 28, 1852 — Journal des faits
    • “Le scarabée d’Or” — April 17-23, 1856 — Le Mousquetaire
      • “Le scarabée d’Or” - Part I — April 17, 1856
      • “Le scarabée d’Or” - Part II — April 18, 1856
      • “Le scarabée d’Or” - Part III — April 19, 1856
      • “Le scarabée d’Or” - Part IV — April 20, 1856
      • “Le scarabée d’Or” - Part V — April 23, 1856
  • “Le scarabée d’Or” — 1885 — Oeuvres Choisies d‘Edgar Pöe, Paris: A. Hennuyer
  • “El Escarabajo de Oro [The Beetle of Gold]” — 1858 — Newspaper of Barcelona  (Spanish translation)
  • “[The Gold-Bug]” — before 1868  (Unidentified Danish translation noted by Anderson, p. 15)
  • “[The Gold-Bug]” — 1868 — Phantastiske Fortaellinger [Fantastic Tales], Copenhagen  (Danish translation by Robert Watt, noted by Anderson, p. 15)
  • “La Scarabeo d’Oro” — 1876 — Racconti Incredibili, Milano, Italy: Tipografia Editrice Lombarda  (Italian translation, with several illustrations)
  • “[The Gold-Bug]” — 1881 — Underliga historier, Stockholm  (Swedish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 54)
  • “[The Gold-Bug]” — 1882 — Valda noveller, Stockholm  (Swedish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 54)
  • “Der Goldkäfer” — 1890 — Seltsame Gesdichten, Stuttgart: Spemann  (German translation by Alfred Mürenberg)
  • “The Gold Bug” — November 1902 — School World (Farmington, ME), vol. XXIV, whole no. 46 (This printing is stated as abridged on the cover, with Poe’ name given incorrectly as “Edgar Allen Poe”) (This periodical is noted as “Published Monthly [/] September to June” and “Ten Numbers a Year — 35 cents”)
  • “Le Scarabée d’Or” — 1904 — Le Système du Docteur Goudron et du Professeur Plume, Paris: Jules Rouff  (French translation by Léonora C. Herbert)
  • Coded Limericks . . . Accompanied by the Gold-Bug — 1925 — by S. B. Dickson, New York: Simon and Schuster  (a collection of fifty coded limericks, with instructions on how to decode them, and a full printing of Poe’s “The Gold-Bug,” in which a cryptograph, appropriately, plays a key role. On the dust-jacket, the tale is noted as “A Famous Thriller by the Master of Detective Stories.”)
  • “The Gold Insect” — 1932 — London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd  (a curious “translation” of the story into “Basic English” by A. P. Rossiter. It includes an interesting “To the Reader” by C. K. Ogden, explaining the purpose of creating this version of Poe’s tale. A note by A. P. Rossiter, printed in the front of the book, is dated “August, 1932.”)
  • “The Gold Bug” — October 5, 1949 — a radio show broadcast on the Family Theater show, starring Howard McNear as Legand. (McNear would later achieve fame as Mayberry’s Floyd the barber on The Andy Griffith Show. This radio episode is available on CD as part of a 6-CD set of “Smithsonian Legendary Performers,” issued in 2004. As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.) Also in the show are Maureen O‘Hara and Stephan McNally.
  • “The Gold-Bug” — June 1951 — Classics Illustrated (number 84)  (a comic-book)
  • “Altin Böcek” — 1955 — Altin Böcek [Golden Beetle], Varlik edition, Istanbul (Turkish translation) (the small softbound book has 109 pages, with a cover featuring a repeated pattern of gold bugs. It features “The Gold-Bug” but includes seven other tales.)
  • [The Golden Bug] — 1960 — Athens: Aghnia (Modern Greek translation by Stelios A. Maratos) (86 pages)
  • Az aranybogar — 1977 — Budapest: Európa Könyvkiadó (Hugarian translation by Pásztor Árpád, with illustrations by Pásztor Gábor. This book is a miniature, measuring 2 inches high)
  • Le scarabée d’Or — 2008 — Paris: Casterman  (French comic book or graphic novel, adapted from Poe’s story by Roger Seiter, designed and illustratred by Jean-Louis Thouard)
  • “Mickey and the Golden Bug” — about 2010 (undated) — Mickey’s Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Milan: Disney (part II, Literary Classics, no. 24) (A comic-strip adaptation of Poe’s tale The other story in this volume is “Mickey and the Hidden Letter,” and adaptation of “The Purloined Letter.” Translations were also published in Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, and Danish.)

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Bibliography:

  • Anderson, Carl L., Poe in Northlight: The Scandanavian Response to His Life and Work, Durham, NC: Duke Unversity Press, 1973.
  • Bandy, William T., “Poe’s Secret Translator: Amédée Pichot,” Modern Language Notes (May 1964), 79:277-280.
  • Blanch, Robert J., “The Background of Poe’s ‘The Gold-Bug’,” English Record (April 1966), 16:44-48.
  • Campbell, Killis, “Miscellaneous Notes on Poe,” Modern Language Notes, March 1913, 28:65-69
  • Goldhurst, William, “Edgar Allan Poe and the Conquest of Death,” New Orleans Review (1969), 2:316-319.
  • Gravely, W. H., Jr., “An Incipient Libel Suit Involving Poe,” Modern Language Notes (May 1945), 60:308-311.
  • Hassell, J. Woodrow, Jr., “The Problem of Realism in ‘The Gold-Bug’,” American Literature (May 1953), 25:179-192.
  • 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.
  • Hennelley, Mark M., Jr., “Le Grand Captain Kidder and His Bogus Bug,” Studies in Short Fiction (1980), 17:77-79.
  • Holsapple, C. K., “Poe and Conradus,” American Literature (March 1932), 4:62-68.
  • Kempton, Daniel, “The Gold/Goole/Ghoul Bug,” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance (1987), 33:1-19.
  • Laverty, Carroll, “The Death’s-Head on the Gold Bug,” American Literature (March 1940), 12:88-91.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “The Source of Poe’s Motto for ‘The Gold-Bug’,” Notes & Queries (Feb. 1953), 198:68.
  • 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.
  • Mathews, James W., “Legrand’s Golden Vision: Meaning in ‘The Gold Bug’,” CEA Critics: An Official Journal of the College English Association (1991), 53:23-29.
  • Phillipa, Elizabeth C., “ ‘The Right of Attendance‘: The Image of the Black Man in the Works of Poe and Two of His Contemporaries,” in No Fairer Land: Studies in Southern Literature before 1900, eds. J. Lasley Dameron, James W. Matthews, and James H. Justus, New York: Whitston, 1986, pp. 172-184.
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Reconstructing Poe’s Gold-Bug: An Examination of the Composition and Printings,” Edgar Allan Poe Review (Fall 2007), 8:34-48.
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Reconstructing ‘The Gold-Bug’: Additional Documents and Records,” Edgar Allan Poe Review (Spring 2012), 13:112-120.
  • Smyth, Ellison A., “Poe’s ‘The Gold-Bug’ from the Stand-point of an Entomologist,” Sewanee Review (January 1910), 18:67-72.
  • St. Armand, Barton Levi, “Poe’s Sober Mystification‘: The Uses of Alchemy in ‘The Gold-Bug’,” Poe Studies (June 1971), 4:1-7.
  • Stockton, Eric, “Poe’s Use of Negro Dialect in ‘The Gold-Bug’,” Studies in Honor of Charles Carpenter Fries, University of Michigan Press, 1964.
  • Toner, Jennifer DiLalla, “The ‘Remarkable Effect’ of ’silly Words‘: Dialect and Signature in ‘The Gold-Bug’,” Arizona Quarterly (1993), 49:1-20.
  • Tschachler, Heinz, The Monetary Imagination of Edgar Allan Poe: Banking, Currency and Politics in the Writings, Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland and Company, 2013.
  • Woodberry, George Edward, The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, Personal and Literary, 2 vols, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909.
  • Williams, Michael, “ ‘The Language of the Cipher‘: Interpretation in the Gold-Bug,” American Literature (1982), 53:646-660.
  • 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 Gold-Bug