Overview

Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “William Wilson” first appeared in the 1839 edition of the yearly literary gift book The Gift: A Christmas and New Year’s Present for 1840, published by the Philadelphia press Carey and Hart. It tells of a wealthy young Englishman whose debauched plans are continually thwarted by a mysterious man who shares his name, mannerisms, and even his face. A classic doppelganger tale, scholars cite “William Wilson” as an influence on writers as diverse as Robert Louis Stevenson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Stephen King.

Read the full story summary, the full story analysis, and explanations of important quotes from “William Wilson.”

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