Edgar Allan Poe — “The Valley of Unrest”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Valley of Unrest” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “[The Valley Nis]” — 1831 — [There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.]
  • Text-02 — “The Valley Nis” — 1831
    • Text-02a — “The Valley Nis” — 1831 — [Speculated faircopy manuscript Poe prepared for publication. The manuscript has apparently not survived, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02b.]
    • Text-02b — “The Valley Nis” — 1831 — POEMS — (Mabbott text A — This is Mabbott's copy-text for this early version)
  • Text-03 — “The Valley Nis” — 1836
    • Text-03a — “The Valley Nis” — early 1836 — [Speculated new manuscript of the poem Poe prepared in anticipation of publication in the Southern Literary Messenger. The main change is in the final stanza, and is probably too extensive to have merely been made on the pages of the earlier printing. Poe may also have not wanted to draw attention to the fact that the poem had been printed a few years before. The poem, as printed, does not carry a line indicating that it was original to the Messenger.]
    • Text-03b — “The Valley Nis” — February 1836 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “The Valley Nis” — 1845
    • Text-04a — “The Valley of Unrest” — before April 1845 — (A new faircopy manuscript, prepared for publication in the American Review. Cullen B. Colton states that the manuscript was among those “either lost or stolen.” No trace of a manuscript is known, but it was common practice for such material to be destroyed during or after typesetting. Poe himself saw no particular importance in his manuscript once that version was set in type. The future value of these manuscripts was, of course, not recognized at the time. C. B. Colton is mistaken when he implies that this printing was a “first printing,” although it is the first printing of the revised version.)
    • Text-04b — “The Valley of Unrest” — April 1845 — American Review — (Mabbott text C)
  • Text-05 — “The Valley Nis” — 1845
    • Text-05a — “The Valley of Unrest” — before September 6, 1845 — [Speculated copy of the American Review with changes marked in anticipation of reprinting in the Broadway Journal.]
    • Text-05b — “The Valley of Unrest” — September 6, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text D)
  • Text-06 — “The Valley Nis” — 1845
    • Text-06a — “The Valley of Unrest” — before September 6, 1845 — [Speculated copy of the Broadway Journal with a single change marked in anticipation of reprinting in the RAOP.]
    • Text-06b — “The Valley of Unrest” — 1845 — RAOP — (Mabbott text E — This is Mabbott's copy-text for the final version)



  • “The Valley of Unrest” — March 2, 1846 — Southern Patriot (p. 2) (this item is noted by George Monteiro, “Fugitive Reprints,” E. A. Poe Review, Fall 2010, p. 161.)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text F) — [Griswold merely reprints Text-06b, from the stereotype plates.]
  • “The Valley of Unrest” — 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 and Samuel Orchart Beeton, and their name appears as publisher for the second series), second series p. 240. (with no woodcut illustration) (this poem was omitted in some later printings)
  • “The Valley Nis” — June 4, 1864 — as part of “Literariana” in Roundtable (New York, NY), p. 393 (apparently reprinted from POEMS of 1831)
  • “The Valley of Unrest” — October 26, 1865 — Perry County Democrat (Bloomfield, PA), vol. 29, no. 21, p. 1, col. 2 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “The Valley of Unrest” — November 8, 1865 — Urbana Union (Urbana, OH), vol. IV, no. 32, p. 1, col. 2 (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • The Valley of Nis [[The Valley Nis]]” — May 4, 1872 — Appleton's Journal (this item is quoted in an article by Paul Hamilton Hayne on “Poe's Method of Writing”)
  • “The Valley of Nis [[The Valley Nis]]” — May 21, 1872 — Albany Daily Evening Times (reprinted from the article by P. H. Hayne in Appleton's Journal, with the same error in title, and several serious new problems in the text)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:56)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:21, and pp. 171-173)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:55, and 10:188-190)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (p. 14, and pp. 199-201)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 72-74, and pp. 217-218)
  • “The Valley of Unrest” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (p. 55, and pp. 225-228)  (In his notes, Stovall gives the full text of the 1831 “The Valley Nis”)
  • The Valley of Unrest” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:189-196)  (Mabbott gives two texts, one for “The Valley of Nis” and one for “The Valley of Unrest”)
  • “The Valley of Unrest” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (p. 66) (reprints Text-06)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “La Vallée de l‘angoisse” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)



  • Basler, Roy P., “Poe's ‘The Valley of Unrest’,” Explicator, December 1946, vol. 5, item 25; reprinted in Sex, Symbolism and Psychology, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1948, pp. 197-201
  • Bledsoe, Thomas F., “On Poe's ‘Valley of Unrest’,” Modern Language Notes, February 1946, 61:91-92
  • Colton, Cullen B., “George Hooker Colton and the Publication of ‘The Raven’,” American Literature, vol. X, no. 3, November 1938, pp. 319-330 (footnote 30 on p. 328 provides the comment about the manuscript)
  • 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.
  • Kiehl, James, “Valley of Unrest: A Major Metaphor in the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe,” Thoth, Winter 1964, 5:42-52
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “Poe's ‘The Valley of Unrest’,” Explicator, May 1945, vol. 3  (a query)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - The Valley of Unrest