Capt. Benjamin Morrell

A dashing young Morrell, c. 1832.

Clearly, J. and J. Harper’s publication of the ghost-written A Narrative of Four Voyages impacted Poe’s strategic evaluation of literary markets. Poe mimics the title with its salacious come-on of the cannibal-infested MASSACRE ISLANDS, mocking the dry droning patter of clipped factoids padding a purloined “narrative” accounting that may or may not intersect with reality.   In Pym, Poe satirizes even Morrell’s footnoting.




Morrell, A Narrative of Four Voyages 1832