Edgar Allan Poe — “How to Write a Blackwood Article”





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Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “How to Write a Blackwood Article” (with “A Predicatment”) — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:



  • How to Write a Blackwood Article” (with “A Predicament”) — 1856 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text-05  (Mabbott text E)
  • “A Predicament” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, second series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 418-427 (By printing this intentionally ridiculous story without the introductory “How to Write a Blackwood Article,” the publishers of this edition have strangely left the reader without the key necessary to recognize the satire.) (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe’s Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • How to Write a Blackwood Article” and “A Predicament” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram (vol. II, pp. 460-480) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • How to Write a Blackwood Article” (with “A Predicament”)  — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 4: Tales, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (4:198-211 and 4:212-224) (“A Predicament” is given as “Article for Blackwood: A Predicament”) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • How to Write a Blackwood Article” (with “A Predicament”) — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales I, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (2:269-282 and 2:283-295, and 2:391-393 and 2:393-395)
  • The Psyche Zenobia (How to Write a Blackwood Article)” (with “A Predicament”) — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:334-362)
  • “How to Write a Blackwood Article” (with “A Predicament”) — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 278-297


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “L‘Initiation de la Signora Psyché Zénobia” — (French translation by Catulle Mendés, but without “A Predicament”)
    • “L‘Initiation de la Signora Psyché Zénobia” — December 3, 1876 — La République des Lettres (Paris — Lesclide)
    • “L‘Initiation de la Signora Psyché Zénobia” — 1877 — in Les Folies Amoureuses, Paris: E. Dentu
  • “Comment écrire un article-Blackwood: la Théorie et la Pratique” — July 1885 — La Jeune Begique (Bruxelles) (French translation by Georges Eekhoud, from a Widdleton reprint of the Griswold edition of Poe’s works)
  • “Comment s‘écrit un article a la Blackwood” — 1887 — Edgar Poë: Derniers Contes, Paris: Albert Savine  (French translation by Félix Rabbe)
  • “Comment on ecrit un article pour le Blackwood (Psyche Zenobia)” and “Une triste situation (La faux du temps)” — 1950 — Histories grotesques et sérieuse par Edgar Poe, Paris: Classiques Garnier  (French translation by Léon Lemonnier)
  • ”Edgar Allan Poe’s Predicament” — November 16, 1999 — a radio show broadcast on the NPR Playhouse show. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.) (The same show debuted on XM Satellite Radio service on February 22, 2003.)



  • Allen, Michael, Poe and the British Magazine Tradition, New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.
  • Daughrity, Kenneth Leroy, “Notes: Poe and Blackwood’s,” American Literature, November 1930, 2:289-292.
  • Gerber, Gerald, “The Coleridgean Context of Poe’s Blackwood Satires,” Emerson Society Quarterly (Fall 1970), 60:87-91.
  • Gerber, Gerald, “Milton and Poe’s ‘Modern Woman’,” Poe Newsletter (December 1970), 3:25-26.
  • Hatagaki, Yuko, “Poe and Our Times 2: The Dissociation of the Self in ‘A Predicament’,” Jissen Women’s Junior College Review, 1997, 18:16-24
  • 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.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “George H. Derby: A Debt to Poe,” Notes & Queries (March 1934), 166:171.
  • 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.
  • McClary, Ben Harris, “Poe’s ‘Turkish Fig-Pedler’,” Poe Newsletter (October 1969), 2:56.
  • McElrath, Joseph R., Jr., “Poe’s Conscious Prose Technique,” North-East Modern Language Association Newsletter (1970), 2:34-43.
  • McNeal, Thomas H., “Poe’s Zenobia: An Early Satire on Margaret Fuller,” Modern Language Quarterly (June 1950), 11:205-216.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Figs, Bells, Poe and Horace Smith,” Poe Newsletter (June 1970), 3:8-10.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Poe’s Dr. Ollapod,” American Literature (March 1970), 42:80-82.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Poe’s Tale of Psyche Zenobia: A Reading for Constructive Ingenuity and Humor,” in Papers on Poe: Essays in Honor of J. Ward Ostrom, Springfield, OH:, 1972, pp. 92-103.
  • Roche, A. John, “Another Look at Poe’s Dr. Ollapod,” Poe Studies (June 1973), 6:28.
  • Schuster, Richard, “More on the ‘Fig-Pedler’,” Poe Newsletter (June 1970), 3:22.
  • Taylor, Walter F., “Israfel in Motley,” Sewanee Review (July - Sept. 1934), 42:330-340.
  • Tuttleton, James W., “A Note on ‘The Bell-Tower‘: Melville’s ‘Blackwood Article’,” Poe Studies (June 1973), 6:28-29.
  • 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 - How to Write a Blackwood Article