The short story "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" by Edgar Allan Poe details a great many wonders of the more modern world being described by Scheherazade to her husband, in terms familiar to them, in such a way as to sound preposterous to people of their time.

In my edition of the Collected Works of Poe, this story comes with multiple footnotes to specify the exact nature as we know it of each wonder that Scheherazade describes. Footnotes are also included in, for example, this online version.

Are the footnotes part of Poe's original text of the story, identical since its first publication? Or were they added later by an editor seeking to make the story more easily understandable?

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    If any of the references mentioned in the footnotes postdate the publication of the story, that would be evidence for the "added later" theory. A spot check did not find any such instances. The style of the notes seems Poe-like to me. At any rate one could easily settle the matter by looking at a copy of the Feb 1845 issue of Godey's Lady's Book. Oct 19, 2017 at 1:57
  • @kimchilover Yeah, I think they're probably Poe's own footnotes, but it's hard to tell since he often roleplays as the editor of his own stories. Any idea where one might find a copy of that original 1845 issue?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:43
  • Large university library. Worldcat seems to say many in the US (at least) have microfilm copies. Oct 19, 2017 at 11:03
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    @GarethRees I see the footnotes there. Care to post it as an answer?
    – bobble
    May 2, 2021 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


They are original.

The text of the first publication (Godey's Lady's Book, February 1845, pp. 61-67) shows them.

enter image description here

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    @bobble I've edited to add a little more info and an image. Mary, I hope you don't mind.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 5, 2021 at 5:42

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