Edgar Allan Poe — “Ligeia”





  • The narrator (unnamed) - The narrator of the story is chiefly an observer. He is the husband of Ligeia.
  • Ligeia - The central figure of the story, and the wife of the narrator.
  • Lady Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine - The second wife of the narrator, married several months after the death of Ligeia.
  • etc. - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Ligeia” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Ligeia” — 1838 (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.)
  • Text-02 — “Ligeia” — 1838
    • Text-02a — “Ligeia” — 1838, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “Ligeia” — September 1838 — American Museum — (Mabbott text A) (Poe appears to have sent a copy of this issue to P. P. Cooke, who replied on September 16, 1839, apologizing for not having answered Poe's letter of some time ago and providing a short but insightful comment about “Ligeia.” Although Cooke does not specifically state that Poe sent him the copy, it seems unlikely that Cooke would have seen a copy of this relatively obscure Baltimore publication any other way, and it is clear that Poe specifically sought some response from Cooke in regard to “Ligeia.” In replying to Cooke's letter, Poe mentions that he is sending copies of the July, August, and September 1839 issues of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, further suggesting that he may have sent the earlier issue of the American Museum.)
  • Text-03 — “Ligeia” — 1838-1840
    • Text-03a — “Ligeia” — 1838-1839 (speculated copy of the American Museum with changes marked by Poe in preparation for reprinting in TGA. This copy has not survived, but the text is presumably recorded in Text-03b)
    • Text-03b — “Ligeia” — 1840 — TGA — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “Ligeia” — 1842-1845
    • Text-04a — “Ligeia” — 1842 — TGAPP — (Mabbott text C)  (This version is a modified form of Text-03b)
    • Text-04b — “Ligeia” — 1843-1845 — TGAPPB (speculated alternate form of TGA with extensive changes and incorporating the poem “The Conqueror Worm,” made in preparation for reprinting in the New World, perhaps capitalizing on the popularity of “The Raven.” The changes are far more extensive than shown in TGAPP. This copy has not survived, but the text is presumably recorded in Text-04c)
    • Text-04c — “Ligeia” — February 15, 1845 — New World — (Mabbott text D)
  • Text-05 — “Ligeia” — 1845-1848
    • Text-05a — “Ligeia” — 1845 (speculated copy of the New World, with changes marked by Poe for reprinting in the Broadway Journal. This copy has not survived, but the text is presumably recorded in Text-05b)
    • Text-05b — “Ligeia” — September 27, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text E) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.)
    • Text-05c — “Ligeia” — about October 1848 — minor manuscript revisions in Whitman copy of Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text F — This is Mabbott's copy-text)  (This version is a slightly modified form of Text-05b)



  • “Ligeia” — August 1, 1848 — Illustrated Monthly Courier (Philadelphia), pp. 17-21 (This reprint is noted in the 1992 “The Poe Catalogue” of the 19th Century Bookshop, p. 89. It is not mentioned by H&C or Mabbott.)
  • Ligeia” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text-05b  (Mabbott text G)
  • “Ligeia” — October 1855 — The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine (UK), vol. III., pp. 265-271 (apparently reprinted from WORKS)
  • “Ligeia” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 453-468 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • Ligeia” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 371-387 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “Ligeia” — 1884 — Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 68-87 (This collection, published in four volumes by John C. Nimmo, was the first to incorporate Poe's minor changes in the S. H. Whitman copy of the Broadway Journal.)
  • “Ligeia” — 1918 — Great Ghost Stories, Chicago: Cadmus Books, 1918, pp. 189-212 (included with Poe's “MS. Found in a Bottle.” Edited by J. Walker McSpadden, and noted as published by a special arrangment with Thomas Y. Crowell Co.)
  • “Ligeia” — Summer 1970 — The Magazine of Horror: the Bizarre, the Frightening, the Gruesome (published by Health Knowledge), vol. VI., no. 3


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Ligeia” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Tales, ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (1:182-202)
  • Ligeia” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales I, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (2:248-268, and 2:385-391)
  • Ligeia” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:305-334)
  • “Ligeia” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 262-277


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • Ligeia” — Comparative Text (American Museum and TGA)
  • Ligeia” — Study Text (TGAPP)
  • Ligeia” — Comparative Text (TGAPP and New World)
  • Ligeia” — Comparative Text (New World and BJ)
  • Ligeia” — Study Text (BJ-SHW)
  • Ligeia” — Comparative Text (BJ and WORKS)


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Ligeia” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • “Ligeia” — February 3-4, 1855 — Le Pays
      • “Ligeia” — Part I — February 3, 1855
      • “Ligeia” — Part II — February 4, 1855
    • “Ligeia” — 1856 — Histoires extraordinaires, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “[Ligeia]” — 1893 — (Russian translation by A. Mereshkovsky)
  • ”Ligeia” — 1960 — a reading by Nelson Olmsted on The Raven: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, issued on the Vanguard label (VRS-9046, rereleased as VSD-32)
  • “The Tomb of Ligeia” — 1965 — film version staring Vincent Price and Elizabeth Shepherd, produced and directed by Roger Corman. Robert Towne's screenplay has very slight traces of Poe's original story, retaining little more than the names of Ligeia and Rowena, a few bits of dialogue, and an underlying concept about the strength of the will to transcend death. Otherwise, the film has a few atmospheric touches, but is mostly unintelligible, and a far cry from Poe's intentions. Music is by Kenneth V. Jones. (The 2003 DVD includes commentaries by Corman and Elizabeth Shepherd.)
  • “Ligeia” — 1972 — a reading by Martin Donegan as volume IX of Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, issued on the CMS Records label (CMS-653)
  • “Ligeia” — 2009 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo
  • “The Tomb” (with the alternate title “Edgar Allan Poe's ‘Ligeia’ ”) — 2009 — movie (a film written by Jeff Most and directed by Michael Staininger. The storyline is only very, very loosely based on Poe's tale. The action takes place in a time that is essentially contemporary with 2009. There are characters named Ligeia and Rowena, and Ligeia has some sort of occult powers, but the simiarity mostly ends there. Parts of “The Conqueror Worm” are recited over the end credits.)



  • Abel, Darrel, “Coleridge's ‘Life-in-Death’ and Poe's ‘Death-in-Life’,” Notes & Queries (May 1955), 200:218-220.
  • Askew, Melvin, “The Pseudonymic American Hero,” Bucknell Review (March 1962), 10:224-231.
  • Basler, Roy P., “The Interpretation of ‘Ligeia’,” College English (April 1944), 5:363-372; reprinted in Sex, Symbolism and Psychology, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1948, pp. 143-159.
  • Basler, Roy P., “Poe's Dream Imagery,” Sex, Symbolism and Psychology in Literature, New Brunswick: Rugers University Press, 1948, pp. 177-200
  • Basler, Roy P., “Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Publications of the Modern Language Association (December 1962), 77:675. (A response to the article by James Schroeter.)
  • Brown, Arthur A., ‘A Man Who Dies’: Poe, James, Faulkner and the Narrative Function of Death, PhD disseration, University of California, Davis, 1995
  • Cherniavsky, Eva, “Revivification and Utopian Time: Poe versus Stowe,” in The American Face of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Shawn Rosenheim and Stephen Rachman, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1995, pp. 121-138
  • Davis, June and Jack L., “An Error in Some Recent Printings of ‘Ligeia’,” Poe Newsletter (June 1970), 3:21.
  • Davis, June and Jack L., “Poe's Ethereal Ligeia,” Bulletin of the Rocky Mountains MLA (1970), 24:170-176.
  • Dougherty, Stephen, “ ‘A Decaying City Near the Rhine’: Nation, Race, and Horror in ‘Ligeia’,” Sycamore: A Journal of American Culture, Spring 1997, 1:52
  • Dumoulié, Camille, “Des signes d‘inquiétante étrangeté,” Nouvelle revue francaise, 1994, 493:71-79 and 494:102-110
  • Fisher, Benjamin Franklin IV, “Dickens and Poe: Pickwick and ‘Ligeia’,” Poe Studies (June 1973), 6:14-16.
  • Gargano, James W., “Poe's ‘Ligeia,’ Dream and Destruction,” College English (February 1962), 23:337-342.
  • Gargano, James W., “The Question of Poe's Narrators,” College English (December 1963), 25:177-181; reprinted in The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Eric W. Carlson, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966; and Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Robert Regan, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1967.
  • Garrett, Walter, “The Moral of ‘Ligeia’ Reconsidered,” Poe Newsletter (June 1971), 4:19.
  • Garrison, Joseph, Jr., “The Irony of ‘Ligeia’,” Emerson Society Quarterly (Fall 1970), 60:13-18.
  • Griffith, Clark, “Poe's ‘Ligeia’ and the English Romantics,” University of Toronto Quarterly (October 1954), 14:8-25.
  • Halio, Jay L., “The Moral Mr. Poe,” Poe Newsletter (October 1968), 1:23-24.
  • Hamilton, Clayton, Manual of the Art of Fiction, 1918.
  • Hayter, Alethea, “Poe,” Opium and Romantic Imagination, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968, pp. 132-151.
  • 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., “Poe's ‘Ligeia’: Debts to Irving and Emerson,” Poe and His Times: The Artist and His Milieu, Baltimore: The Edgar Allan Poe Society, 1990, pp. 113-129
  • Hoffman, Daniel, “I Have Been Faithful to You in My Fashion: The Remarriage of Ligeia's Husband,” Southern Review (January 1972), 8:89-106.
  • Hudson, Ruth, “Poe Recognizes ‘Ligeia’ as His Masterpiece,” in English Studies in Honor of James Southall Wilson, Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1951, pp. 35-44.
  • Koster, Donald, “Poe, Romance and Reality,” American Transcendental Quarterly (Summer 1973), 19:8-13.
  • Lauber, John, “ ‘Ligeia’ and Its Critics: A Plea for Literalism,” Studies in Short Fiction (Fall 1966), 4:28-33; excerpt reprinted in Twentieth Century Interpretation of Poe's Tales, ed. William L. Howarth, New Jersey:: Prentice-Hall, 1971.
  • Lubbers, Klaus, “Poe's ‘The Conqueror Worm’,” American Literature (November 1968), 39:375-379.
  • 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.
  • Morrison, Claudia C., “Poe's ‘Ligeia’: An Analysis,” Studies in Short Fiction (Spring 1967), 4:234-245.
  • Piacention, Edward, “Petrachan Echoes and Petrarchanism in ‘Ligeia’,” Masques, Mysteries, and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany, ed. Benjamin F. Fisher, Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe Society, 2006, pp. 102-114
  • Porte, Joel, The Romance in America: Studies in Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and James, Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1969, pp. 53-94.
  • Ramakrishna, D., “The Conclusion of Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Emerson Society Quarterly (2nd Quarter 1967), 47:69-70.
  • Ramakrishna, D., “Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Explicator (October 1966), vol. 25, item 19.
  • Rea, Joy, “Classicism and Romanticism in Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Ball State University Forum (Winter 1967), 8:25-29.
  • Reed, Kenneth T., “ ‘Ligeia’: The Story as Sermon,” Poe Newsletter (June 1971), 4:20.
  • Samuels, Charles T., “Usher's Fall: Poe's Rise,” Georgia Review (Summer 1964), 18:208-216.
  • Schroeter, James, “A Misreading of Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Publications of the Modern Language Association (September 1961), 76:397-406. (See also a response by Roy R. Basler, and Schroeter's response to Basler.)
  • Schroeter, James, “Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Publications of the Modern Language Association (December 1962), 77:675. (a response to Roy R. Basler.)
  • Stauffer, Donald B., “Style and meaning in ‘Ligeia’ and ‘William Wilson’,” Studies in Short Fiction (Summer 1965), 2:316-331.
  • Swanson, Donald R., “Poe's ‘The Conqueror Worm’,” Explicator (April 1961), vol. 19, item 52.
  • Tritt, Michael, “ ‘Ligeia’ and ‘The Conqueror Worm’,” Poe Studies, 1976, 9:21-22
  • West, Muriel, “Poe's ‘Ligeia’,” Explicator (October 1963), vol. 32, item 15.
  • West, Muriel, “Poe's ‘Ligeia’ and Isaac D‘Israeli,” Comparative Literature (Winter 1964), 16:19-28.
  • 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 - Ligeia