‘The Psyche Zenobia’ by Edgar Allan Poe

This book contains Edgar Allan Poe’s humourous story, The Psyche Zenobia.

The story follows a female narrator who, accompanied by her tiny poodle and 3-foot-tall servant, comes across a Gothic cathedral whilst walking in a city. When she ascends to the top of the steeple, she attempts to look through a small opening with her servant’s aid. Pushing her head through the hole, she realises that she appears to be inside a large clock face, and that she is destined for a rather novel demise. A humorous satire of the popular Gothic tale, this short story is highly recommended or fans of Poe’s comical work, and would make for a fantastic addition to any collection. This humourous tale is combined with it’s companion piece The Scythe of Time; a satirical, fiction guide on how to write horror stories like those typically printed in Blackwood’s Magazine.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was an American author, editor, poet, and critic. Most famous for his stories of mystery and horror, he was one of the first American short story writers, and is widely considered to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre.

We are republishing this vintage text, The Psyche Zenobia, in an affordable, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author.

An extract from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Psyche Zenobia:

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 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-coloured 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, &c.” [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 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 original patronymic, which is Zenobia, and not by any means Snobbs. Nobody but Tabitha Turnip calls me Suky Snobbs. I am the Signora Psyche Zenobia.


Here, at edgarallanpoe.co.uk, you can find the best of this fantastic author’s novels, short stories, essays, and poems.

You can also find a biography of Edgar Allan Poe, along with some of his most famous and loved quotes and poems.

Through republishing works such as ‘The Psyche Zenobia’, it is hoped that the writing of this author of mystery and the macabre, can continue to delight – almost two centuries after its initial publication.