Edgar Allan Poe — “The Balloon Hoax”





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Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Balloon Hoax” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “[Astounding News by Express ...]” — about March 1844 (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition. It is likely that Poe conceived and wrote the story sometime in March as an April Fools Day hoax, but delayed the publication as perhaps being too obvious.)
  • Text-02 — “Astounding News by Express ...
    • Text-02a — “Astounding News by Express ...” — before April 13, 1844 (speculated faircopy of the manuscript, prepared for publication. No such manuscript is known to have survived, as it was probably destroyed in the process of setting the type, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02. Due to the unusual, and perhaps rushed, nature of this composition, Poe may not have prepared as neat a faircopy manuscript as he usually preferred.)
    • Text-02b — “Astounding News by Express ...” — April 13, 1844 — New York Sun, Extra (with 1 illustration) — Text-02  (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Balloon Hoax”
    • Text-03a — “The Balloon Hoax” — 1844-1849 — (a presumed modified version of the New York Sun, Extra, for an anticipated new collection that was never printed. This version is lost, but probably represented in text-04.)
    • Text-03b — “The Balloon Hoax” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text B — This is Mabbott's copy-text)


Reprints (full text):

  • “The Atlantic Crossed in Three Days ...” — April 14, 1844 — The Sunday Times  (reprinted from Text-02)
  • “The Atlantic Crossed in Three Days ...” — April 16, 1844 — Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD), vol. XIV, no. 126, p. 1, cols. 4-6) (noted as reprinted “from the New York Sun Extra.”)
  • “The Balloon Hoax” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 86-101 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • The Balloon Hoax” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 94-107 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “[The Balloon Hoax]” — October 19, 1910 — The New York Sun  (noted by Wyllie, p. 323)
  • “The Balloon Hoax” — April 1927 — Amazing Stories, vol. 2, no. 1
  • “The Balloon Hoax” — August 1927 — Aviation Stories and Mechanics, vol. 1, no. 2 (as by “Edgar Allen [sic] Poe”) (with illustrations by Murray Korman)


Reprints (excerpts only):

  • “[[The Atlantic Crossed in Three Days . . .]]” — April 20, 1844 — Saturday Courier (New York)  (excerpt only) (The Courier presents the story as obviously a hoax, and criticizes it as “not even possessing the character of pleasantry.” (noted by The Poe Log, p. 461)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The Balloon Hoax” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (2:204-221)  (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • The Balloon Hoax” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:224-240, and 5:325)
  • The Balloon Hoax” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:1063-1088)
  • “The Balloon Hoax” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 743-755


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Astounding Intelligence from the Man in the Moon” — April 14, 1844 — the Mercury (New York)  (parody)
  • ”Le canard au ballon” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • ”Le canard au ballon” — January 31 - February 3, 1855 — Le Pays
    • ”Le canard au ballon” — Part I  (January 31, 1855)
    • ”Le canard au ballon” — Part II  (February 2, 1855)
    • ”Le canard au ballon” — Part III  (February 3, 1855)
  • ”Le canard au ballon” — 1856 — Histoires extraordinaires, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “Eine Ballonfahrt über den Atlantischen Ozean” — 1890 — Seltsame Gesdichten, Stuttgart: Spemann  (Germanh translation by Alfred Mürenberg)
  • “The Balloon-Hoax” — 2009 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo (part of a 6-CD set)



  • Brigham, Clarence Saunders, “Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax’,” American Book Collector (February 1932), 1:94-95. (Reprinted as a separate pamphlet, Metuchen: NJ, 1932. Although the article is accompanied by a photographic facsimile of the full newspaper, it is so small that it is not practical as a reading copy.)
  • Falk, Doris, “Thomas Low Nichols, Poe, and the ‘Balloon Hoax’,” Poe Newsletter (Dec. 1972), 5:48-49.
  • 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, Joseph, ed., The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism, Philadelphia: Privately Printed, 1928  (In the foreword, attempting to establish Poe as the author of The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism, Jackson discusses Poe's scientific understanding in regard to “The Balloon Hoax.”)
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax,” New York Sun (January 23, 1943), p. 6.
  • 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.
  • Norris, W. B., “Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax’,” Nation (Oct. 27, 1910), 91:389-390
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “Wanderings Here and There in Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax’,” Edgar Allan Poe Review (Autumn 2017), 18:257-263
  • Scudder, H. H., “Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax’,” American Literature (May 1949), 21:179-190
  • Weissuch, Ted N., “Edgar Allan Poe: Hoaxer in the American Tradition,” New York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin, July 1961, 45:291-309
  • Wilkinson, Ronald S., “Poe's ‘Balloon-Hoax’ Once More, “ American Literature (Nov. 1960), 32:313-317
  • Wimsatt, William K., Jr., “A Further Note on Poe's ‘Balloon Hoax’,” American Literature (Jan. 1951), 22:491-492
  • 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 Balloon Hoax