The Black Cat (magazine)

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The Black Cat, April 1896 issue

The Black Cat (1895–1922) was an American literary magazine published in Boston, Massachusetts.[1] It specialized in short stories of an "unusual" nature.[2]

History and profile[edit]

The magazine's first editor was Herman Umbstaetter (1851–1913).[3][4] It is best known for publishing the story "A Thousand Deaths" by Jack London in the May 1899 issue.[5] Umbstaetter's magazine also carried material by Rupert Hughes, Susan Glaspell, Ellis Parker Butler, Alice Hegan Rice, Holman Day, Rex Stout, O. Henry, Charles Edward Barns, and Octavus Roy Cohen.[2] Although most of its fiction was nonfantastic, The Black Cat occasionally published science fiction stories by authors such as Frank L. Pollack, Don Mark Lemon and Harry Stephen Keeler.[3] It is notable for publishing, in May 1902, an early and uncharacteristically "weird" story by O. Henry entitled "The Marionettes." It also printed the horror story "The Mysterious Card" (1896) by Cleveland Moffett. Clark Ashton Smith contributed two adventure stories to The Black Cat.[3] One noted writer who appeared in the magazine's later years was Henry Miller.[6] The covers were illustrated by Umbstaetter's wife Nelly Littlehale Umbstaetter until at least 1920.


  1. ^ WorldCat. The black cat : a monthly magazine of original short stories. Boston, Mass.: Shortstory Pub. Co.
  2. ^ a b Frank Luther Mott. A History of American Magazines: 1885-1905. Harvard University Press, 1957 (pp.429-31)
  3. ^ a b c Mike Ashley The Time Machines:The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the beginning to 1950. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-865-0. (pp. 22-24).
  4. ^ In 1911 Umbstaetter was located on Pearl Street in Boston. International Who's Who. International Who's Who Publishing Company. 1911.
  5. ^ Robert Barltrop, Jack London: the man, the writer, the rebel, Pluto Press, 1976, ISBN 0-904383-18-0. (p. 66)
  6. ^ Erica Jong, The Devil at Large:Erica Jong on Henry Miller. Grove Press, 1994 ISBN 0-8021-3391-6. (p. 69)

External links[edit]