Edgar Allan Poe — “The Premature Burial”





  • (narrator) - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Premature Burial” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings (full text):

  • Text-01 — “The Premature Burial” — 1844 — (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.)
  • Text-02 — “The Premature Burial” — 1844-1845
    • Text-02a — “The Premature Burial” — 1844 — (Speculated faircopy manuscript Poe prepared for publication. This manuscript does not appear to have survived, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02. Mabbott implies that a manuscript of the final paragraph was sold at auction by Anderson Galleries, but this fragment is clearly from the 1849 printing of “Marginalia,” entry 251, and not from the original manuscript of the tale.)
    • Text-02b — “The Premature Burial” — July 31, 1844 — Dollar Newspaper — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Premature Burial” — 1844-1845
    • Text-03a — “The Premature Burial” — 1844-1845 — (speculated copy of the Dollar Newspaper with manuscript changes by Poe. This version has not survived, but is presumably represented by text-03b. Changes are slightly too significant to suggest that they were made merely in proof, although that alternative is not impossible. These changes are not so significant, however, that a new manuscript is indicated.)
    • Text-03b — “The Premature Burial” — June 14, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “The Premature Burial” — 1845-1849
    • Text-04a — “The Premature Burial” — 1845-1849 — (Speculated copy of the Broadway Journal with manuscript changes by Poe. This version has not survived, but is presumably represented by text-04b. Changes are too significant to suggest merely editorial meddling, and Poe himself was not alive to make changes in proof. These changes are not so significant, however, that a new manuscript is indicated. In the case of one short paragraph, several changes revert back to the 1844 form.)
    • Text-04b — “The Premature Burial” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text C — This is Mabbott's copy-text)


Manuscripts and Authorized Printings (extracts):

  • The Premature Burial” — June 1849 — extract of last paragraph in “Marginalia” Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text D)



  • “Burying Alive” — August 1844 — The Rover (New York)  (an article which included reprints of ten paragraphs of the story)
  • “The Premature Burial” — April 16, 1845 — Boston Cultivator  (acknowledged as reprinted from the Broadway Journal) (interestingly, the Boston Cultivator prints it in a section called the “Ladies’ Department”)
  • “The Premature Burial” — June 19-20, 1845 — Charleston Mercury (Charleston, SC), vol. XXXIV (acknowledged as reprinted from the Broadway Journal and signed “Edgar A. Poe” at the end of the conclusion)
    • “The Premature Burial” — June 19, 1845, whole no 6,715, p. 2, cols. 1-2
    • “The Premature Burial” — June 20, 1845, whole no. 6,716, p. 2, cols. 1-2
  • “The Premature Burial” — July 8 and 9, 1845 — Boston Daily Mail  (excerpts reprinted anonymously from the Broadway Journal) (This reprint noted by K. Ljungquist, 1997, p. 195n24.)
  • “The Premature Burial” — June 11, 1851 — Odd Fellow  (Boston, MA), vol. XIII, no. 11, p. 1-2 (acknowledged as by Edgar A. Poe. The tale entirely fills the front page, and continues as a stub on p. 2.)
  • “The Premature Burial” — 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), first series pp. 196-211. (with 1 woodcut illustration)
  • The Premature Burial” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 236-250 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “The Premature Burial” — 1884 — Readings from American Authors, Humorous and Pathetic, edited by John A. Jennings, Dublin: Carson Brothers, pp. 117-121 (The text is acknowledged as being adapted. The miscellany includes three items by Poe, two stories and one poen. The prices is noted as one shilling.)
  • “My Premature Burial” — November 19-20, 1887 — Evening Chronicle (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) (printed under the general heading of “Tales of the Mysterious” and acknowledged as “by Edgar Allan Poe”)
    • “My Premature Burial” — November 19, 1887, no. 640, p. 2, cols. 5-6
    • “My Premature Burial” — November 21, 1887, no. 641, p. 2, cols. 1-2
  • “The Premature Burial” — about 1890 — Fifty-Two Stories of Pluck and Peril For Boys, edited by Alfred H. Miles (London: Hutchison and Co.) (The same editor and publisher, about the same time, also issued a volume of Fifty-Two Stories for Girls, although that volume contains nothing by Poe.)
  • “The Premature Burial” — November 1933 — Weird Tales (Indianapolis, IN), volume 22, no. 5, pp. 641-446 (noted as “a shivery story by a great American master of the weird tale”)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The Premature Burial” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (3:213-232)
  • The Premature Burial” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:255-273, and 5:327)
  • The Premature Burial” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:953-972)
  • “The Premature Burial” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 666-679


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Premature Burials” — December 27, 1845 — South Australian Register (Adelaide, South Austrailia), vol. I, no. 360, p. 4 — (a notice of Poe's story as having appeared in “A late Philadelphia newspaper”)
  • “Enterré vif” — May 23, 1854 — in Le Mousquetaire (Paris) (a journal run by Alexander Dumas), no. 182, pp. 1-3  (French translation by William Little Hughes) (A note, in French, reads “The reader willing to to learn about the scientific worth of Poe's reasonings may want to consult Julia Fontenelle, Medico-legal researches into the uncertainty of signs of death, and the most definite means to ascertain death (Paris, 1833); Louis, Letters about the uncertainty of death-signs; Vigne, Treatise on apparent death, and on the ailments that could occasion premature inhumations (Paris, 1841).” — translation provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie.)
  • “L‘Enterrement Prématuré” — 1877 — in Les Folies Amoureuses, Paris: E. Dentu  (French translation by Catulle Mendés)
  • “[The Premature Burial]” — 1881 — Underliga historier (Stockholm)  (Swedish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 54)
  • “L‘inhumation  prématurée” — 1882 — Contes Grotesques par Edgar Poe, Paris: Paul Ollendorff  (French translation by Émile Hennequin)
  • “Enterré vif” — 1885 — Oeuvres Choisies d‘Edgar Pöe, Paris: A. Hennuyer  (French translation by William L. Hughes)
  • “L‘ensevelissement  prématuré” — 1887 — Edgar Poë: Derniers Contes, Paris: Albert Savine  (French translation by Félix Rabbe)
  • “Enterré vivant [Buried Alive]” — 1904 — Le Système du Docteur Goudron et du Professeur Plume, Paris: Jules Rouff  (French translation by Léonora C. Herbert)
  • “L‘enterrement prématuré” — 1914 — Edgar Poe: Histories étranges et Merrveilleuses, Paris: Mercure de France (French translation by M. D. Calvocoressi)
  • “Enterré vivant” — 1934 — Les Sphinx et autres contes bizarres par Edgar Poë, Paris: Galliard (French translation by Matila C. Ghyka)
  • “L‘enterrement prématuré” — 1950 — Histories grotesques et sérieuse par Edgar Poe, Paris: Classiques Garnier  (French translation by Léon Lemonnier)
  • “The Premature Burial” — 1962 — a reading by Richard Taylor on Terror: The Son of Horror, issued on the Random Records label (M-38, side A) (running time, around 15:03) (This is a very cheaply produced 33 1/3 LP, with a single narrator speaking in a loud whispter over a background of atmospheric music played by a small orchestra. The jacket features simple black and white graphics. The narrator, who has a surprisingly high voice and a detectable Brooklyn accent, is noted as being 21 at the time of the recording. This album was initially advertised for $2.98, and 25¢ for shipping and handling. This was part of a series of 4 albums. Side B of this album contained “The Masque of the Red Death.”)
  • “The Premature Burial” — 2009 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo



  • Anderson, Carl L., Poe in Northlight: The Scandanavian Response to His Life and Work, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1973.
  • Bandy, William T., “A Source of Poe's ‘The Premature Burial’,” American Literature, May 1947, 19:167-168
  • Booth, Wayne C., The Rhetoric of Fiction, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961, pp. 200-204.
  • Brown, Byron K., “John Snart's Thesaurus of Horror: An Indirect Source of Poe's ‘The Premature Burial‘?,” American Notes & Queries, Summer 1995, 8:11-14
  • 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.
  • King, Lucille, “Notes on Poe's Sources,” University of Texas Studies in English (1930), 10:128-134.
  • Ljungquist, Kent. P., “ ‘Valdemar’ and the ‘Frogpondians’: The Aftermath of Poe's Boston Lyceum Appearance,” in Emersonian Circles: Essays in Honor of Joel Myerson, ed. Wesley T. Mott, Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1997, pp. 181-206.
  • 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.
  • 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 - The Premature Burial