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Book Details

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe: Volume 4

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See 22
The Devil in the Belfry
X-ing a Paragraph
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
How to Write a Blackwood Article.
A Predicament
The Angel of the Odd
Mellonta Tauta
The Duc De L'omelette
The Oblong Box
Loss of Breath
The Man That Was Used Up
The Business Man
The Landscape Garden
Maelzel's Chess-player
The Power of Words
The Colloquy of Monos and Una
The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion
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Everybody knows, in a general way, what the finest place in the world is-or, alas, was-the Dutch borough of Vondervotteimittiss.
May contain spoilers
And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell dusky upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.
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Extract (may contain spoilers)
I PRESUME everybody has heard of me. My name is the Signora Psyche Zenobia. This I know to be a fact. Nobody but my enemies ever calls me Suky Snobbs. I have been assured that Suky is but a vulgar corruption of Psyche, which is good Greek, and means "the soul" (that's me, I'm all soul) and sometimes "a butterfly," which latter meaning undoubtedly alludes to my appearance in my new crimson satin dress, with the sky–blue Arabian mantelet, and the trimmings of green agraffas, and the seven flounces of orange–colored auriculas. As for Snobbs—any person who should look at me would be instantly aware that my name wasn't Snobbs. Miss Tabitha Turnip propagated that report through sheer envy. Tabitha Turnip indeed! Oh the little wretch! But what can we expect from a turnip? Wonder if she remembers the old adage about "blood out of a turnip," etc.? [Mem. put her in mind of it the first opportunity.] [Mem. again—pull her nose.] Where was I? Ah! I have been assured that Snobbs is a mere corruption of Zenobia, and that Zenobia was a queen—(So am I. Dr. Moneypenny always calls me the Queen of the Hearts)—and that Zenobia, as well as Psyche, is good Greek, and that my father was "a Greek," and that consequently I have a right to our patronymic, which is Zenobia and not by any means Snobbs. Nobody but Tabitha Turnip calls me Suky Snobbs. I am the Signora Psyche Zenobia.

As I said before, everybody has heard of me. I am that very Signora Psyche Zenobia, so justly celebrated as corresponding secretary to the "Philadelphia, Regular, Exchange, Tea, Total, Young, Belles, Lettres, Universal, Experimental, Bibliographical, Association, To, Civilize, Humanity." Dr. Moneypenny made the title for us, and says he chose it because it sounded big like an empty rum–puncheon. (A vulgar man that sometimes—but he's deep.) We all sign the initials of the society after our names, in the fashion of the R. S. A., Royal Society of Arts—the S. D. U. K., Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, &c, etc. Dr. Moneypenny says that S. stands for stale, and that D. U. K. spells duck, (but it don't,) that S. D. U. K. stands for Stale Duck and not for Lord Brougham's society—but then Dr. Moneypenny is such a queer man that I am never sure when he is telling me the truth. At any rate we always add to our names the initials P. R. E. T. T. Y. B. L. U. E. B. A. T. C. H.—that is to say, Philadelphia, Regular, Exchange, Tea, Total, Young, Belles, Lettres, Universal, Experimental, Bibliographical, Association, To, Civilize, Humanity—one letter for each word, which is a decided improvement upon Lord Brougham. Dr. Moneypenny will have it that our initials give our true character—but for my life I can't see what he means.

Notwithstanding the good offices of the Doctor, and the strenuous exertions of the association to get itself into notice, it met with no very great success until I joined it. The truth is, the members indulged in too flippant a tone of discussion. The papers read every Saturday evening were characterized less by depth than buffoonery. They were all whipped syllabub. There was no investigation of first causes, first principles. There was no investigation of any thing at all. There was no attention paid to that great point, the "fitness of things." In short there was no fine writing like this. It was all low—very! No profundity, no reading, no metaphysics—nothing which the learned call spirituality, and which the unlearned choose to stigmatize as cant. [Dr. M. says I ought to spell "cant" with a capital K—but I know better.]


Added: 25-Oct-2019
Last Updated: 20-Mar-2023


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9 hrs 17 min (147 pages)
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This, the fourth of 5 volumes containing Poe's works, contains 22 of his short stories.

Warning: Section 7, "A Predicament," contains some racial stereotypes and a word describing the race of one of the characters that is unacceptable in today's society.
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In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-2014
1)   19 Dec 2021 - 18 Jul 2022
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Internal ID:
United States

Volume four of the complete works in five volumes from one of the leaders of the American Romantics. Macabre parties in isolated castles … Gruesome bestial murders … Talking ravens, hellish black pits, innocents buried alive … Prepare to be chilled and enthralled by the haunting genius of the acknowledged master of gothic horror and suspense, Edgar Allan Poe. Included in this volume are The Devil in the Belfry, Lionizing, X-ing a Paragraph, Metzengerstein, The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq., How to Write a Blackwood article, A Predicament, Mystification, Diddling, The Angel of the Odd, Mellonia Tauta, The Duc de l’Omlette, The Oblong Box, Loss of Breath, The Man That Was Used Up, The Business Man, The Landscape Garden, Maelzel’s Chess-Player, The Power of Words, The Colloquy of Monas and Una, The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion and Shadow–A Parable.
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Edgar Allan Poe  
Birth: 19 Jan 1809 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Death: 07 Oct 1849 Baltimore, Maryland, USA


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  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.

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