The Devil and Daniel Webster

Introduction

"The Devil and Daniel Webster" is a short story by Stephen Vincent Benét. This retelling of the classic German Faust tale is based on the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker", written by Washington Irving. Benet's version of the story centers on a New Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the Devil and is defended by Daniel Webster, a fictional version of the famous lawyer and orator.

The story first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1936 and was later published in book form by Farrar & Rinehart in 1937. That same year, it won the 1937 O. Henry Award. The author also adapted it in 1938 into a folk opera with music by Douglas Stuart Moore, a fellow alumnus of Yale University, member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and winner of a Pulitzer Prize. Benét also worked on the screenplay adaptation for the 1941 RKO Pictures film.


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