(originally published April 1835 in Southern Literary Messenger)
In this horror story, an unnamed narrator falls strangely in love with a woman named Morella and marries her. The narrator quickly learns that Morella loves to read and study mystical texts. She is also obsessed with ideas of identity and of the soul surviving after death. At first the narrator is fascinated by her, but eventually he grows terrified of her, and begins to secretly wish for her death. Morella dies during childbirth, first predicting that “I am dying, yet shall I live”, that the child (a girl) will live, and that the narrator will from then on live a cursed life. As the child grows up, she begins to bear an uncanny resemblance to Morella, so much so that the narrator grows terrified of her, too.
Summary written by Taylor Colegrove, May 2011. Title links to the full text of the story.