Edgar Allan Poe — “Lionizing”





  • Thomas Smith (changed first to John Smith, and later to Robert Jones) - The narrator in this story is the chief protagonist. He achieves instant and effortless fame by having a magnificent nose. He is generally accepted as a parody of Nathaniel P. Willis.
  • Mr. Smith (later Mr. Jones) - The father of the narrator. His first name is not given.
  • Mrs. Smith (later Mrs. Jones) - Mentioned. The mother of the narrator. Her first name is not given.
  • Mrs. Bas-Bleu - one of the members of Fum-Fudge's grand society. She is presumably the mother of “big” and “little” Miss Bas-Bleu.
  • Big Miss Bas-Bleu - The older daughter of Mrs. Bas-Bleu.
  • Little Miss Bas-Bleu - The younger daughter of Mrs. Bas-Bleu.
  • etc. - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Lionizing” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Lion-izing” — 1835 — (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.)
  • Text-02 — “Lion-izing” — 1835
    • Text-02a — “Lion-izing” — 1835 — (Speculated faircopy manuscript prepared for publication. No such manuscript has survived, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “Lion-izing. A Tale” — May 1835 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text A — This is Mabbott's copy-text of the early version.)
  • Text-03 — “Lion-izing” — 1839-1840
    • Text-03a — “Lion-izing. A Tale” — about 1839 — (although these pages in the Duane copy of the Southern Literary Messenger show no sign of changes, the version published in TGA shows numerous modifications, which suggests an intermediary form. It is likely, therefore, that Poe made changes in copies other than those which were ultimately owned by Duane, and that those copies have not been located and possibly have not survived. Poe appears to have attempted to erase his changes in the Duane copies, and it is possible that a copy exists in which these erased changes have been overlooked. This missing text is presumably reflected in text-03b.)
    • Text-03b — “Lionizing” — 1840 — TGA — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “Lion-izing” — 1842--1845
    • Text-04a — “Lionizing” — 1842 — TGAPP — (Mabbott text C)  (This version is a modified form of Text-03b)
    • Text-04b — “Some Passages in the Life of a Lion” — early 1845 — (Speculated new manuscript or heavily revised proofsheets of the tale, as it was prepared for reprinting in the BJ. The nature and number of changes strongly suggests a new manuscript, although possibly reusing portions of printed text based on TGA. The changes incorporate those marked in TGAPP, but also considerably expanded sections, beyond what could easily fit in the margins, thus TGAPPB. It is also possible that some additional material was provided on slips of paper, as for “The Psyche Zenobia,” that have since been lost. This material has not survived, but is presumably reflected in Text-04c.)
    • Text-04c — “Some Passages in the Life of a Lion” — March 15, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text D)
  • Text-05 — “Lion-izing” — 1845
    • Text-05a — “Lionizing” — about March 1845 — (Speculated copy of the tale as printed in the BJ, with some additional changes, returning the title to the earlier form. This material has not survived, but is presumably reflected in Text-05b.)
    • Text-05b — “Lionizing” — 1845 — TALES — (Mabbott text E — This is Mabbott's copy-text of the final version) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.) (Poe had sent a copy of the tale to Ducykinck on Feb. 18, 1845, but the text printed in the 1845 TALES reflects changes that were also printed in the BJ. Poe marked no changes for this story in his personal copy of TALES-JLG.)



  • “Lionizing” — June 12, 1835 — Richmond Courier and Daily Compiler (vol. XXXII, no. 2, p. 3, cols. 1-2, acknowledged as from Text-02b) (The Poe Log gives the name of this periodical as the Richmond Enquirer, p. 157. The masthead for the issue agrees with The Poe Log.)
  • “Lionizing” — June 27, 1835 — Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, GA) (vol. 49, no. 39, p. 4, cols. 1-3, acknowledged as from Text-02b) (Information for this entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail dated January 4, 2022. The brief comment reprinted in the SLM appears on page 1, near the top of col. 1 of this issue.)
  • Lionizing” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text F)  (Griswold reprints the stereotype plates of Tales) (Text-05b)
  • “Lionizing” — June 12, 1853 — Wilmington Journal (Wilmington, NC), vol. 9 No. 41, June 17, 1853, p. 3, cols. 1-2 (The introductory note reads: “Here is a capital satirical sketch by the late Edgar A. Poe. Let those who aspire to the distinction of a Lionship with qualifications, like those of the hero here introduced, read and improve by it. It will further their designs, no doubt.”) (Information for this entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail dated June 16, 2021)
  • “Lionizing” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, second series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 96-101 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • Lionizing” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram (vol. II, pp. 308-313) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Lionizing” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 4: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (4:9-15)
  • Some Passages in the Life of a Lion” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales I, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (2:35-41, and 2:323-330) (Harrison gives the Broadway Journal version as the main text, but also prints the full version from the Southern Literary Messenger in the notes.)
  • Lionizing” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:169-187)
  • “Lionizing” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 212-217


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Lionnerie” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • “Etre un lion, conte moral” — February 19-22, 1855 — Le Pays
      • “Etre un lion, conte moral” — Part I  (February 19, 1855)
      • “Etre un lion, conte moral” — Part II  (February 22, 1855)
    • “Lionnerie” — 1857 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “Lionizing” — 1962 — a reading by James Mason, issued as a Lively Arts LP (LA-30006)
  • “Lionnerie” — 1950 — Histories grotesques et sérieuse par Edgar Poe, Paris: Classiques Garnier (French translation by Léon Lemonnier)



  • Anonymous, Southern Literary Messenger (May 1835), 1:531.
  • Arnold, John, “Poe's ‘Lionizing’: The Wound and the Bawdry,” Literature and Psychology (1967), 17:52-54.
  • Benton, Richard P., “Poe's ‘Lionizing’: A Quiz on Willis and Lady Blessington,” Studies in Short Fiction (Spring 1968), 5:239-245.
  • Benton, Richard P., “Reply to Professor Thompson,” Studies in Short Fiction (Fall 1968), 6:97.
  • 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.
  • Jackson, David K., “ 'some Ancient Greek Authors’: A Work of Poe,” Notes & Queries (May 26, 1934); and American Literature (November 1933), 5:263-267.
  • 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.
  • Thompson, G. Richard, “On the Nose — Further Speculations on the Sources and Meaning of Poe's ‘Lionizing’,” Studies in Short Fiction (Fall 1968), 6:94-97.
  • 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:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tales - Lionizing