What time in his life was E.A.Poe when he wrote The Black Cat?

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What time in his life was E.A.Poe when he wrote The Black Cat? Also, give me details on his personal life at that time,(what inspired him to write The Black Cat?)

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2000



The tale, The Black Cat generally followed a repeating theme of Poes, that of the perverse nature of man and was also used in The Imp of the Perverse and Never Bet the Devil Your Head. Edgar and Virginia were known to have kept several pets such as birds and cats and they owned a cat named Catterina. Whether it was solid black with a white patch is anyones guess.

The following information can be found on the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore web site at:


The tale, The Black Cat was first printed in the United States Saturday Post on August 19, 1843. In January of that year, Poe was out of work in Philadelphia having left Grahams Magazine as editor but still writing periodically for the magazine.

In March, Poe had come to an agreement with Thomas C. Clarke to work together to publish a magazine called The Stylus. Originally called The Penn, the magazine had been a dream of Poes for several years and he had prepared a prospectus as early as June of 1840 hoping to gain some literary independence. Still looking for work, Poe enlists the aid of his friend F. W. Thomas, an acquaintance of Robert Tyler, the son of President John Tyler, to secure a job with the government as a clerk. This was not unusual for authors in this period and Nathaniel Hawthorne as well as Herman Melville (I think). Poe never get the clerks position and continued to write.

In June Poe sold the story, The Gold Bug to Grahams Magazine but hears of a contest with a $100.00 prize and retrieves the story in trade for some critical reviews and ends up winning the prize from the Dollar Magazine.

In July of 1843, William H Graham publishes Poes Prose Romances.

In August, The Black Cat is printed in the United States Saturday Post and in November 1843, Poe begins a lecture tour on American Poetry in Philadelphia.


-- Anonymous, October 23, 2000

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-- Anonymous, November 26, 2002

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