Edgar Allan Poe — “The Oblong Box”





  • (narrator) - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Oblong Box” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Oblong Box” — 1844 — (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.)
  • Text-02 — “The Oblong Box” — 1844
    • Text-02a — “The Oblong Box” — 1844 — (Speculated faircopy manuscript Poe prepared for publication. This manuscript does not appear to have survived, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “The Oblong Box” — September 1844 — Godey's Lady's Book — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Oblong Box” — 1844-1845
    • Text-03a — “The Oblong Box” — 1844-1845 — (speculated copy of Godey's Lady's Book with revisions by Poe, probably in preparation for the reprinting in the Broadway Journal. This copy has not survived, but is presumably reflected in text-03b. Changes are minor enough that they might have been made in proof in setting the Broadway Journal text.)
    • Text-03b — “The Oblong Box” — December 13, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text B) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.)



  • “The Oblong Box: A Capital Story” — August 28, 1844 — Dollar Newspaper (Philadelphia, PA)
  • “The Oblong Box” — September 7, 1844 — Western Literary Messenger
  • “The Oblong Box” — December 18, 1845 — Troy Daily Whig (Troy, NY), vol. 12 nr. 291, p. 1 col. 7 and p. 2 cols. 1-2 (The information for this entry provided by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail to the Poe Society of October 31, 2016).
  • The Oblong Box” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold reprints Text-04  (Mabbott text C — This is Mabbott's copy-text)
  • “The Oblong Box” — 1852 — Tales and Sketches: to which is added The Raven: A Poem, London, George Routledge & Co., pp. 208-218 (This tale is not included in Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Humour; and Poems, London: Henry Vizetelly, printed in England about the same time)
  • “The Oblong Box” — June 5, 1864 — Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL), vol. XVII, no. 298, p. 3, cols. 5-6 (source and authorship are not acknowledged)
  • “The Oblong Box” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, second series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 55-66 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • The Oblong Box” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram (vol. II, pp. 265-277) (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “The Oblong Box” — August 5, 1910 — Asbury Park Evening Press (Asbury Park, NJ), vol. 24, no. 184, p. 11, full page (with a large woodcut engraving, and with the page heading “For Lovers of Good Fiction.”) (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “The Oblong Box” — August 8, 1910 — Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), vol. 33, p. 13, full page (with a large woodcut engraving, and with the page heading “For Lovers of Good Fiction.”) (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”) (identical to the Asbury Park Evening Press printing)
  • “The Oblong Box” — September 6, 1910 — Plainfield Courier-News (Plainfield, NJ), (no volume or issue number specified) p. 13, full page (with a large woodcut engraving, and with the page heading “For Lovers of Good Fiction.”) (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”) (identical to the Asbury Park Evening Press printing)
  • “The Oblong Box” — September 7, 1910 — Evening Times (Grand Forks, ND), vol. 5, no. 211, p. 7, full page (with a large woodcut engraving, and with the page heading “For Lovers of Good Fiction.”) (acknowledged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”) (identical to the Asbury Park Evening Press printing)
  • “The Oblong Box” — February 28, 1928 — Evening News (Harrisburg, PA), whole no. 3422, p. 10, cols. 1-5 (under the heading “Materpieces of Mystery,” and acknowleged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.” Further noted as “Condensed for Quick Reading by Arthur B. Reeve, the Creator of ‘Craig Kennedy’ and “copyright. 1928. by Arthur B. Reeve.” Arthur Benjamin Reeve (1880-1936) created his detective character, Professor Craig Kennedy, in 1910, ultimately publishing eighty-two stories featuring the professor and his side-kick, Walter Jameson.)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The Oblong Box” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (3:233-248)
  • The Oblong Box” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:274-289, and 5:327-328)
  • The Oblong Box” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:919-935)
  • “The Oblong Box” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 643-654


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “[The Oblong Box]” — 1855 — Fortaellinger [Tales]  (Copenhagen)  (Danish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 14)
  • “La caisse oblongue” — 1862 — Contes inedts d‘Edgar Poe, Paris: J. Hetzel, pp. 37-58 (French translation by William L. Hughes)
  • “[The Oblong Box]” — 1868 — Phantastiske Fortaellinger [Fantastic Tales]  (Copenhagen)  (Danish translation by Robert Watt, noted by Anderson, p. 14)
  • “La caisse oblongue” — 1882 — Contes Grotesques par Edgar Poe, Paris: Paul Ollendorff  (French translation by Émile Hennequin)
  • “La caisse oblongue” — 1914 — Edgar Poe: Histories étranges et Merrveilleuses, Paris: Mercure de France (French translation by M. D. Calvocoressi)
  • “La Boite oblongue” — 1934 — Les Sphinx et autres contes bizarres par Edgar Poë, Paris: Galliard (French translation by Matila C. Ghyka)
  • “The Oblong Box” — Winter 1944 — Crown Comics (number 1)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Oblong Box” — February 18, 1945 — a radio show broadcast on the Weird Circle show. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe's works, the story has been modified.)
  • “La boite rectangulaire” — 1950 — Histories grotesques et sérieuse par Edgar Poe, Paris: Classiques Garnier  (French translation by Léon Lemonnier)
  • “Mustatil Sandik” — 1955 — Altin Böcek [Golden Beetle], Varlik edition, Istanbul (Turkish translation) (the small softbound book has 109 pages. It features “The Gold-Bug” but includes seven other tales.)
  • “The Oblong Box” — January 1965 — Magazine of Horror (number 6)   (vol. II, no. 1) (an inexpensive pulp magazine, published by Health Knowledge, and originally sold for 50 cents)
  • “The Oblong Box” — 1969 — a reading by Martin Donegan as part of volume III of Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, issued on the CMS Records label (CMS-567)
  • “The Oblong Box” — 2008 — 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.
  • 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, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Vierra, Clifford Carley (as pseudonym of Carley, C. V.), “A Source for Poe's ‘The Oblong Box’,” American Literature, November 1957, 29:310-313
  • Vierra, Clifford Carley, “Poe's ‘Oblong Box’: Factual Origins,” Modern Language Notes, December 1959, 74:693-695
  • 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 Oblong Box