Edgar Allan Poe — “Mesmeric Revelation”





  • (narrator) - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development. (See also “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” to which the present story is closely related.)


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1834 — (There are no known draft manuscripts or scratch notes reflecting the original effort of composition.)
  • Text-02 — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1844
    • Text-02a — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1844 — (Speculated faircopy manuscript Poe prepared for publication. This manuscript no longer survives, but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02b.)
    • Text-02b — “Mesmeric Revelation” — August 1844 — Columbian Magazine — (Mabbott text A)
    • Text-02c — “Mesmeric Revelation” — August 18, 1844 — a corrected copy of Text-02b, sent to J. R. Lowell, but now lost and not recorded — (In his letter, Poe makes it clear that he hoped Lowell would get a copy of the corrected tale printed in Brother Jonathan or the Boston Notion, but no such publication of the tale seems to have occurred. The changes Poe made were presumably incorporated or superceded by the version printed in Text-03b.)
  • Text-03 — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1844
    • Text-03a — “Mesmeric Revelation” — after August 18, 1844 — another presumed copy of Text-02b, with more extensive revisions than those in Text-02b, made in preparation for TALES. This version no longer exists, but is presumably reflected in Text-03b. This version may be the same as Poe sent to Griswold on February 24, 1845, hoping that it would be included in a new printing of The Prose Writers of America.)
    • Text-03b — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1845 — TALES — (Mabbott text B) (For Griswold's 1850 reprinting of this text, see the entry below, under reprints.)
    • Text-03c — “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1849 — TALES-JLG — manuscript revision of one word in “J. L. Graham” copy of TALES — (Mabbott text C — This is Mabbott's copy-text)



  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — August 3, 1844 — The New World  (9:132-134) (The headnote reads: “We extract the following marvellous article from the ‘Columbian Magazine’ just published. Mr. Poe cannot, on so serious a subject, trifle with his readers: yet more extraordianry statements can hardly be conceived, We do believe in the facts of mesmerism, although we have not yet been able to arrive at any theory sufficient to explain them. Here, however, we are almost staggered. Of course, the narrative will be universally circulated; so we recommend it to the perusal of our readers and invite them to draw their own conclusions. — [ED.”)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — August 31, 1844 — Philadelphia Saturday Museum
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — October 1844 — New York Dissector: A Quarterly Journal of Medicine, Surgery, Magnetism, Mesmerism, and the Collateral Sciences; With the Mysteries and Fallacies of the Faculty (New York, NY) (edited by Henry Hall Sherwood), vol. I, no. IV, pp. 185-189 (Poe is acknowledged as the author) (This entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail dated January 5, 2019. Previously noted by Michael Sappol, A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Emboied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002, p. 357n56.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1844 —Universalist Watchman and Christian Repository (Montpelier, VT) (This reprint begins with a brief introductory note, signed “ED”: “We do not take the following article as an historical account, nor, as a burlesque on mesmerism; but, as a presentation of the writer's philosophical theory which he wished to commend to the attention of his readers.”)
    • “Mesmeric Revelation” - Part I (Vol. 17, no. 7, August 30, 1844, p. 56)
    • “Mesmeric Revelation” - Part II (Vol. 17, no. 8, September 6, 1844, p. 64)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — about December 1844 — Dollar Weekly (New York ?), no copy located (Poe sent a copy of this reprint to George Bush on January 4, 1845, when he gives the name as “The Dollar Weekly.” No copy of the story has been located.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — March 26, 1845 — Yankee Blade (Waterville, ME) (noted by Ljungquist)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — April 28, 1845 — Regenerator (Fruit Hill, OH), vol. I, no. 28, p. 128, cols. 1-4 (The story appears on the fourth page of the issue. On the third page is an editorial statement about the story) (this reprint has long been incorrectly recorded as appearing in the issue for May 14, 1845, based on a letter by John S. Clackner, which was reprinted by Poe in the Broadway Journal. There was no issue for May 14, 1845, however, and the correct issue was identified by looking at a microfilm made from a set of the periodical at Cornell University.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — May 31, 1845 — Western Luminary (Rochester, NY), vol. IV, no. 22, pp. 170-171 (There is at least one run of this periodical for 1845 at the University of Minnesota) (This reprint is also noted in the letter by John S. Clackner noted above.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — June 19, 1845 —Portage Sentinel (Ravenna, OH), p. 4 (reprinted from the Columbian Magazine)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — September 1845 —American Phrenological Journal (New York, NY), vol. 7, no. 9, pp. 304-311 (with a long introduction by O. S. Fowler, the editor)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — September 6, 1845 —Critic (London) (The complete story is reprinted as part of a review of Poe's Tales.
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — October 1, 1845 — St. Louis Magnet: Designed to Illustrate the Philosophy of Human Nature (St. Louis, MO) (edited by Dr. Thomas Jefferson McNair), vol. I, no. 6, pp. 129-138 (Reprinted from the American Phrenological Journal, with Poe acknowledged as the author. A introduction, presumably supplied by the editor, which largely reprints Fowler's introduction from the American Phrenological Journal) (Information for this entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail dated January 5, 2019)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — October 4, 1845 —Star of Bethlehem
  • “The Last Conversation of a Somnambule” — November 8, 1845 — unauthorized reprint in Penny Satarist (London), vol. 9, no. 45 (noted by K. Hayes, 2009, p. 178, n. 17)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — November 14, 1845 — unauthorized reprint in Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, NY), vol. XVI, no. 46 (noted by K. Hayes, 2009, p. 178, n. 17)
  • “The Last Conversation of a Somnambule” — November 29, 1845, text “AF” — unauthorized reprint in Popular Record of Modern Science (London)
  • “The Conversation of a Somnambule. Held just before Death with his Magnetiser Edgar A. Poe” — 1845 or 1846 — unauthorized reprint, as a separate, from the Popular Record of Modern Science, London: V. Torras, n.d.
  • Mesmeric Revelation” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text D) Griswold merely reprints from the stereotype plates of Text-03b.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1852 — Tales and Sketches: to which is added The Raven: A Poem, London, George Routledge & Co., pp. 72-80 (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)
  • “[Mesmeric Revelation]” — November 26, 1859 — Spiritual Telegraph (New York NY), vol. VIII, no. 31, pp. 367-368 (more than half of the story is reprinted, beginning with the dialogue with Vankirk and running to the end of the story. It is reprinted from pages that were sent by a correspondent, isolated from the original publication, but almost certainly from the reprint in the New World of Augut 3, 1844, based on the date mentioned in the article. In the Spritiual Telegraph of June 21, 1860, vol. III, no. 29 p. 459, minutes from a “Spiritual Lyceum” meeting in New York show that Poe's story was still respected in spiritualism circles, with some claining that Vankirk was himself a real spirit who had communicated with Poe.)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 110-120 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe's Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • Mesmeric Revelation” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 116-126 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — May 1926 — Amazing Stories, vol. 1, no. 2


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • Mesmeric Revelation” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (2:308-321)
  • Mesmeric Revelation” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:241-254, and 5:326)
  • Mesmeric Revelation” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:1024-1042)
  • “Mesmeric Revelation” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 717-727


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Révélation Magnétique” (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
  • “Révélation Magnétique” — July 15, 1848 — La Liberté de Penser  (translated from the 1845 Tales, Text-05)
  • “Révélation Magnétique” — July 30, 1854 — Le Pays
  • “Révélation Magnétique” — 1856 — Histoires extraordinaires, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “Revelación” — October 8, 1858 — La América, vol. II  (Spanish translation, noted by Englekirk, p. 482)



  • Baudelaire, Charles, Baudelaire on Poe, translated and edited by Lois and Francis E. Hyslop, Pennsylvania: Bald Eagle Press, 1952 (includes Baudelaire's preface to “Mesmeric Revelation”)
  • Englekirk, John Eugene, Edgar Allan Poe in Hispanic Literature, New York: Instituto De Las Espanas, 1934.
  • Hayes, Kevin J., Edgar Allan Poe, London: Reaktion Books, 2009
  • 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.
  • 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 - Mesmeric Revelation