Edgar Allan Poe — “King Pest”





  • Hugh Tarpaulin - A seaman.
  • Legs - A fellow seaman of Hugh Tarpaulin.
  • King Pest - Under development.
  • Arch Duchess Ana-Pest - Under development.
  • Arch Duke Pest-Iferous - Under development.
  • Duke Pest-Ilential - Under development.
  • Duke Tem-Pest - Under development.
  • Tim Hurlygurly - Mentioned, an organ-grinder. It is suggested that he is the real person presenting himself as King Pest.
  • etc. - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “King Pest” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — probably 1834 — (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition. In regard to the date of composition, Mabbott (T&S, 2:239) states “The story has no appropriate narrator in the Folio Club, but is earlier than ‘Morella” according to a letter of the author, December 1, 1835, to Judge Beverley Tucker. “King Pest’ probably was written in Baltimore in 1834.”)
  • Text-02 — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — 1835
    • Text-02a — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — before September 1835
    • Text-02b — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — September 1835 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text A) (This version was printed without Poe's name, only as “By ——”) (The Poe Log (p. 172) states that the September issue of the Southern Literary Messenger was available by late September 1835.)
  • Text-03 — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — 1839
  • Text-04 — “King Pest the First. A Tale containing an Allegory” — 1842-1845
    • Text-04a — “King Pest” — 1842 — TGAPP — (Mabbott text D)  (This version is a modified form of Text-03b)
    • Text-04b — “King Pest” — 1842 — TGAPPB — (The changes in the Broadway Journal are notably more extensive than those shown in Phantasy Pieces, thus suggesting an additional form prepared for publication in the 1845 TALES.)
    • Text-04c — “King Pest. A Tale containing an Allegory” — October 18, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text E) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.)



  • King Pest. A Tale containing an Allegory” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text F — This is Mabbott's copy-text)  (Griswold reprints Text-04c. In so doing, he corrects several typographical errors, and there are two minor verbal differences. The first is “different” to “versions” and the second is “nare” to “nature.” Mabbott presumes that these are auctorial, but they might just as easily be misreadings by the typesetter. The first of these in particular repeats a word used earlier in the same sentence.)
  • “King Pest” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, second series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 67-79 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • King Pest” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram (vol. II, pp. 278-291) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “King Pest” — 1945 — “Come Not, Lucifer!” A Romantic Anthology, London: John Westhouse (this general anthology of short stories includes three selections from Poe, the present tale, “The Case of M. Valdemar,” and “The Black Cat.” It is illustrated by Rolf A. Brandt (1906-1986), best known as a surrealist. The editor is listed as Gerald Verner, which is actually one of the pseudonyms used by John Robert Stuart Pringle (1897-1980). In addition to being an editor, he wrote a number of stories generally categorized as thrillers.)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • King Pest” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 4: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (4:58-74) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • King Pest” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales I, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (2:168-184, and 2:367-370)
  • King Pest” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:238-255)
  • “King Pest” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 240-252


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Le roi peste” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • “Le roi peste” — January 23-27, 1855 — Le Pays
      • “Le roi peste” — Part I  (January 23, 1855)
      • “Le roi peste” — Part II  (January 26, 1855)
      • “Le roi peste” — Part III  (January 27, 1855)
    • “Le roi peste” — 1857 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères



  • Fisher, Benjamin F., “ ‘King Pest’ and the Tales of the Folio Club,” Edgar Allan Poe: Beyond Gothicism, ed. James M. Hutchisson, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2011, pp. 103-117.
  • Goldhurst, William, “Poe's Multiple King Pest: A Source Study,” Tulane Studies in English (1972), 20:107-121.
  • 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.
  • Hudson, Ruth Leigh, “Poe and Disraeli,” American Literature (January 1937), 8:402-416.
  • Lucas, Mary, “Poe's Theatre: ‘King Pest’ and ‘Hop-Frog’,” Journal of the Short Story in English (1990), 14:25-40.
  • 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.
  • Whipple, William, “Poe's Political Satire,” University of Texas Studies in English (1956), 35:81-95.
  • 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.


[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tales - King Pest