The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe is a fascinating guide to the tormented genius, with critical insight into:
His difficult childhoodHis 13-year-old brideThe truth about his drug useThe enduring mystery of his death
Poe led a life as epic as one of his poems. In The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe, you’ll learn all the deepest secrets that haunted this tortured writer, influenced his writing, and ultimately drove him to an early death.
Whereas previous biographers have tended to concentrate on the sorry details of Poe’s life, by contrast Hayes takes an original approach by examining Poe’s life within the context of his writings. The author offers fresh, insightful readings of many of Poe’s short stories, and presents newly-discovered information about previously unknown books from Poe’s library, as well as updated biographical details obtained from nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines. This well-researched biography goes beyond previous scholarship and creates a complete picture of Poe and his significant body of work.
Approachably written, Edgar Allan Poe will appeal to the many fans of Poe’s work—from “The Raven” to the “Tell-Tale Heart”—as well as readers interested in American literary history.
Best known as the author of poems such as The Raven and short stories such as The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe is now firmly established as one of the most significant 19th-century American writers. Since 1845, when his work was recognized in France by Baudelaire, his critical reception has endured a history of fluctuation and controversy. During the last 50 years, research on Poe has grown so much that it now rivals or possibly exceeds the renaissance of interest in Emerson, Melville, and Henry James. His work has been adapted for popular consumption through several films; and early editions of his works, printed in small quantities, continue to command high prices.
This reference companion, the third in a series with others on Melville and Henry James, is a guide to the tremendous amount of scholarship Poe has generated. Through chapters written by expert contributors, this volume reviews and represents Poe biography, criticism, aesthetics, philosophy, and influence. The first section of the book includes chapters on Poe's life and discusses the problems confronting Poe's biographers. The second section primarily offers textual criticism of his individual works, while the third and fourth sections treat broad topics related to his philosophical views and aesthetic theory. The fifth section consists of chapters on the legacy of Poe as a world author and his lasting influence on literature, popular culture, and fine arts. Chapters include extensive documentation, and a bibliography at the end of the volume lists the most significant resources for the study of Poe.
Machor takes four antebellum authors—Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Catharine Sedgwick, and Caroline Chesebro'—and analyzes how their works were published, received, and interpreted. Drawing on discussions found in book reviews and in private letters and diaries, Machor examines how middle-class readers of the time engaged with contemporary fiction and how fiction reading evolved as an interpretative practice in nineteenth-century America.
Through careful analysis, Machor illuminates how the reading practices of nineteenth-century Americans shaped not only the experiences of these writers at the time but also the way the writers were received in the twentieth century. What Machor reveals is that these authors were received in ways strikingly different from how they are currently read, thereby shedding significant light on their present status in the literary canon in comparison to their critical and popular positions in their own time.
Machor deftly combines response and reception criticism and theory with work in the history of reading to engage with groundbreaking scholarship in historical hermeneutics. In so doing, Machor takes us ever closer to understanding the particular and varying reading strategies of historical audiences and how they impacted authors’ conceptions of their own readership.