Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe Cover Image

About the Author: Edgar Allan Poe

The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of essays and book reviews. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry.

Just as the bizarre characters in Poe’s stories have captured the public imagination so too has Poe himself. He is seen as a morbid, mysterious figure lurking in the shadows of moonlit cemeteries or crumbling castles. This is the Poe of legend. But much of what we know about Poe is wrong, the product of a biography written by one of his enemies in an attempt to defame the author’s name.

The real Poe was born to traveling actors in Boston on January 19, 1809. Edgar was the second of three children. His other brother William Henry Leonard Poe would also become a poet before his early death, and Poe’s sister Rosalie Poe would grow up to teach penmanship at a Richmond girls’ school. Within three years of Poe’s birth both of his parents had died, and he was taken in by the wealthy tobacco merchant John Allan and his wife Frances Valentine Allan in Richmond, Virginia while Poe’s siblings went to live with other families. Mr. Allan would rear Poe to be a businessman and a Virginia gentleman, but Poe had dreams of being a writer in emulation of his childhood hero the British poet Lord Byron. Early poetic verses found written in a young Poe’s handwriting on the backs of Allan’s ledger sheets reveal how little interest Poe had in the tobacco business.

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Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe Cover Image

Find the best price forGreat Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Poems, Tales, Criticism by

Goodreads rating: 4.25

Paperback, Published in Sep 2004 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics

ISBN10: 0060727853 | ISBN13: 9780060727857

Page count: 576

The classic poems and spine-tingling stories of a Gothic American master collected in one volume.

Of all the American masters, Edgar Allan Poe staked out perhaps the most unique and vivid reputation, as a master of the macabre. Even today, in the age of horror movies and high-tech haunted houses, Poe is the first choice of entertainment for many who want a spine-chilling thrill.

Born in Boston in 1809, and dead at the age of 40, Poe wrote across several fields during his life, noted for his poetry and short stories as well as his criticism. The best of each of these is collected here, including the classic poem The Raven, and timeless stories like The Tell-Tale Heart. In his introduction to this volume, G. R. Thompson argues that Poe was a great satirist and comedic craftsman, as well as a formidable Gothic writer. "All of Poe's fiction," Thompson writes, "and the poems as well, can be seen as one coherent piece—as the work of one of the greatest ironists of world literature."

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