Edgar Allan Poe — “The Imp of the Perverse”





  • (narrator) - Under development.


Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.


Under development.


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1845, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02. According to S. A. Cuneo, the manuscript had been saved by a typesetter and proofreader at Graham’s named Alexander McKelly. The claim have have some validity as Kelly did save the manuscript for Poe’s tale “The System of Doctor Tarr and Proffesor Fether,” which was also published in Graham’s in 1845. The “Tarr and Fether” manuscript found its way into the famous collection of Stephen H. Wakeman, but what ultimately became of the “Imp” manuscript, assuming McKelly’s claims to be true, is not known. McKelly claims to have given the “Imp” to an unnmaed “local editor” in Upper Sandusky, OH some time around 1867.)
  • Text-02 — “The Imp of the Perverse” — July 1845 — Graham’s — (Mabbott text A)
  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — mid-late 1845 — revised manuscript, no longer surviving, but presumably reflected in Text-04. (The changes between Text-02 and Text-04 are so significant in both substance and number, that a new full manuscript is presumed.)
  • Text-04 — “The Imp of the Perverse” — late 1845 — The May Flower for 1846 — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-05 — “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text C)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text)



  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 353-359 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe’s Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 266-272 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (2:33-41)
  • The Imp of the Perverse” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 6: Tales V, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (6:145-153, and 6:287-290)
  • The Imp of the Perverse” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 3: Tales & Sketches II, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (3:1217-1227)
  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 826-832


Comparative Texts:

Instream Comparative Texts:

  • None.


Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None.


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Le démon de la perversité” (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
  • “Le démon de la perversité” — 1857 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “Le démon de la perversité” — 1869 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “The Imp of the Perverse” — 2007 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo



  • Brown, Arthur A., “Death and Telling in Poe’s ‘The Imp of the Perverse’,” Studies in Short Fiction, Spring 1994, 31:197-205.
  • Brown, Arthur A., ‘A Man Who Dies’: Poe, James, Faulkner and the Narrative Function of Death, PhD disseration, University of California, Davis, 1995
  • Cuneo, Sherman A., “An Interesting Manuscript Find,” Bookman (New York), vol. VII, no. 4, June 1898, pp. 289-296.
  • Cavell, Stanley, “Being Odd, Getting Even (Descarte, Emerson, Poe),” in The American Face of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Shawn Rosenheim and Stephen Rachman, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1995, pp. 3-36
  • Del Vecchio, Rosa Maria, “Into that Material Nihility”: Poe’s Criminal Persona as God-Peer, PhD disseration, Case Western University, 1994
  • 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.
  • Kanjo, Eugene R., “ ‘The Imp of the Perverse’: Poe’s Dark Comedy of Art and Death,” Poe Newsletter (October 1969), 2:41-44.
  • 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.
  • Spanier, Sandra Whipple, “ ‘Nests of Boxes‘: Form, Sense, and Style in Poe’s ‘The Imp of the Perverse’,” Studies in Short Fiction (1980), 17:307-316.
  • 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 Imp of the Perverse