Back Edgar Allan Poe, “William Wilson”

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849)
From Selected Tales, with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

“A masquerade in the palazzo of the Neapolitan Duke di Broglio.” Detail from the frontispiece illustration by British artist Byam Shaw (1872–1919) for Selected Tales of Mystery by Edgar Allan Poe (London, 1909). (Internet Archive)

Sunday, January 19, marks the 211th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth.

For Poe Day, as has become our annual custom, we present one of his tales as our Story of the Week selection. After we posted this year’s story, “William Wilson,” we discovered that it was the direct inspiration for HBO’s new series The Outsider, which is based on a Stephen King novel. Two years ago, King told CBS News how his book was inspired by Poe’s psychological drama about doppelgängers: “The guy [Wilson] is at school, another guy comes to school who looks just like him, dresses like him, and has the same name,” King said. “And the thing that came to my mind is, what would a story be like if the evidence that somebody committed a horrible crime was ironclad. But if the evidence that the person had a perfect alibi—what if that was ironclad? You know, kind of an immovable object, an irresistible force.”

The adaptation of King’s novel is just the latest in a long series of books and movies inspired by “William Wilson”—from Dostoevsky’s novella “The Double” to Jordan Peele’s recent horror movie Us. Yet, although Poe made the story famous, its central elements can be found in literary works and legends dating back to the seventeenth century, including similar stories by Hawthorne and Irving. In the introduction to Poe’s tale on our Story of the Week site, we explain how Poe was influenced by other writers, how “William Wilson” is his most autobiographical story, and how he lied for most of his adult life about when he was born.

Read “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Benefits of Using Safe Crypto Casinos. One of the most captivating reasons people drift towards Australian casinos online-casino-au com is the promise of anonymity. Safe platforms guarantee that your identity remains a secret. Quick Payouts and Minimal Fees. No one likes waiting, especially for winnings. Safe crypto casinos ensure that payouts are swift and the fees minimal, if not non-existent.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ozwin Casino offers an exciting array of top-notch slots that cater to every player's preferences. From classic fruit machines to cutting-edge video slots, Ozwin Casino Real Money collection has it all. With stunning graphics, immersive themes, and seamless gameplay, these slots deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. Some popular titles include Mega Moolah, Gonzo's Quest, and Starburst, known for their massive jackpots and thrilling bonus features. Ozwin Casino's slots are not just about luck; they offer hours of entertainment and the chance to win big, making it a must-visit for slot enthusiasts.

Support our mission