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Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of "The Red Mask of Death," "The Black Cat," and "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allan Poe seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success. "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" have been read as signs of his personal obsessions, and "The Fall of Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of "The Red Mask of Death," "The Black Cat," and "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allan Poe seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success. "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" have been read as signs of his personal obsessions, and "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Descent into the Maelstrom" as symptoms of his own mental collapse. Biographers have seldom resisted the opportunities to confuse the pathologies in the stories with the events in Poe's life. Against this tide of fancy, guesses, and amateur psychologizing, Arthur Hobson Quinn's biography devotes itself meticulously to facts. Based on exhaustive research in the Poe family archive, Quinn extracts the life from the legend, and describes how they both were distorted by prior biographies. "


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Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of "The Red Mask of Death," "The Black Cat," and "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allan Poe seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success. "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" have been read as signs of his personal obsessions, and "The Fall of Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of "The Red Mask of Death," "The Black Cat," and "The Murders of the Rue Morgue," Edgar Allan Poe seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success. "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" have been read as signs of his personal obsessions, and "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Descent into the Maelstrom" as symptoms of his own mental collapse. Biographers have seldom resisted the opportunities to confuse the pathologies in the stories with the events in Poe's life. Against this tide of fancy, guesses, and amateur psychologizing, Arthur Hobson Quinn's biography devotes itself meticulously to facts. Based on exhaustive research in the Poe family archive, Quinn extracts the life from the legend, and describes how they both were distorted by prior biographies. "

30 review for Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anastacia

    I don't write many reviews, as I don't write them well. I find it difficult to describe how I feel about a work of creativity -- for me it's like describing what water tastes like. I don't really enjoy putting those feelings and stirrings into actual words, anyway. I write this in defense of what I feel are some unfair comments that I feel misrepresent the book. If you're ever in the mood to read a 900 page biography of Edgar Allan Poe, by God, read this book. I read this by accident; reading on I don't write many reviews, as I don't write them well. I find it difficult to describe how I feel about a work of creativity -- for me it's like describing what water tastes like. I don't really enjoy putting those feelings and stirrings into actual words, anyway. I write this in defense of what I feel are some unfair comments that I feel misrepresent the book. If you're ever in the mood to read a 900 page biography of Edgar Allan Poe, by God, read this book. I read this by accident; reading on a Kindle offers both a blessing and curse of not being as able to judge a book by its cover. Or, in this case, its heft. If I knew, I don't think I would have bought it in the first place. By and large as a voracious reader, I am loathe to make such a commitment. I want something new; I need instant literary gratification. I am happy I didn't realize its length until much later or I'd have missed a tremendous opportunity to dig in to Quinn's meticulously researched presentment of the "true" life of one of history's finest minds. I object to comments that suggest that Quinn merely worked to discredit every slander against Poe. Quinn adroitly examines Poe's life and writings and while it is clear he deeply admired the man, there is no hesitation by Quinn to point out Poe's faults and weaknesses. In my mind, it is a stunning offering of judiciousness and integrity in a sea of cheap recitation of supposed scandal and ill-repute. This is one of the strongest arguments for reading it at all; Quinn had to know the length of his book would not work to his favor, and yet he exhaustively pursued facts to great lengths. These truths are indeed far less exciting to contemptuous minds, but he reported the life of Poe with conviction. I don't see him trying to prove the rumors false because of sheer idolatry, I see this as the work of a true scholarly historian: one who struggles to tell the TRUE story. He is tender but fair. It is certainly true that Quinn spends an awful lot of time on tedious details, the most unfortunate of which is the book's own beginning. It's a shame, because so many readers (myself included) will grow impatient and will shelve the book out of complete boredom. I purchased the book several months ago and did just that; it was only because I had nothing else to read that I gave it another chance. There is such a thing as too many details, and here Quinn fails. For those who can get through the beginning, I think it's an extraordinary read. I respectfully disagree that one must be "hyper-literate" to understand Quinn's writing. I cannot help but note the irony of a complaint of "flowery" and "hyper-literate" language in a 862 page biography of Edgar Allan Poe, a literary legend. I'm at a loss for words to defend such a complaint, but it made my day. (Oh, irony! Is there anything you can't do?) It's also a lesson to all of us that words and insults are powerful and the wounds they cause may never heal. Poe wasn't a perfect man, but who among us are? What's remembered of him is sadly tinged with baseless slander, and that's a damn shame because there is so much more to him than I would have ever known had I not read this book. It's not for everyone, but it's truly amazing in its humanness. In this regard, it is probably the best biography I have ever read, and I think history is better for Quinn's conviction and integrity. *Just a note: As much as I enjoyed it, I was relieved to find that a not insignificant portion of the book (the end) is appendices and references. For the reader on the fence, know that the end comes quicker than expected. Unfortunately the same can be said of Poe's own end, no zing intended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meg Elison

    Unnecessarily defensive of the writer, but drawn heavily from primary sources and well-knitted together.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie McVay

    Want to know Mr. Poe intimately? Read this book. But don't expect to get it done this decade. Seriously, it's a BIG, LONG book. And it tends to use flowery language that only the hyper-literate can understand. (I had to go back and re-read some passages several times to figure out what the biographer was trying to say.) But it's considered to be THE authoritative book on Poe, and I can see why. The book seamlessly combines a chronological account of Poe's personal and professional life with tidb Want to know Mr. Poe intimately? Read this book. But don't expect to get it done this decade. Seriously, it's a BIG, LONG book. And it tends to use flowery language that only the hyper-literate can understand. (I had to go back and re-read some passages several times to figure out what the biographer was trying to say.) But it's considered to be THE authoritative book on Poe, and I can see why. The book seamlessly combines a chronological account of Poe's personal and professional life with tidbits of letters, photos, and personal correspondence that reveal the fragile, sensitive, self-possessed, bitter, tender, arrogant, artistic genius that Poe was. Biographer Quinn spent years studying the man, went to great lengths to acquire even the most seemingly inane artifacts (accounting ledgers from Poe's stint at West Point), and leaves no detail unrevealed in his quest to cut to the heart of his subject. I started this book six months ago and hope I never finish it. It's utterly fascinating and frustratingly good.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Haspel

    Edgar Allan Poe finally got the biographer he deserved in 1941 – almost a century after his death – when Arthur Hobson Quinn of the University of Pennsylvania published this masterpiece of literary biography. In 761 densely packed pages, Quinn clears away the accumulated mass of falsehood, distortion, and misinformation that had gathered around Poe. In the process, he presents the reader, as no writer had done before and few have approached since, with the true life and personality of a great Am Edgar Allan Poe finally got the biographer he deserved in 1941 – almost a century after his death – when Arthur Hobson Quinn of the University of Pennsylvania published this masterpiece of literary biography. In 761 densely packed pages, Quinn clears away the accumulated mass of falsehood, distortion, and misinformation that had gathered around Poe. In the process, he presents the reader, as no writer had done before and few have approached since, with the true life and personality of a great American author. All the facts of Poe’s short, turbulent, often tragic, always poverty-plagued life are here; but for those who are not already familiar with Poe’s life, a word of explanation is in order regarding why this biography so needed to be written. In one of the most unfortunate decisions ever made by a major American writer, Poe chose a long-time enemy, one Rufus Griswold, to serve as his literary executor. Griswold rewrote letters of Poe, forged passages that Poe never wrote, and cast every act of Poe’s in the worst possible light – all in an effort to depict Poe as an utterly immoral literary fiend, forever indulging depraved appetites. As Poe scholar Shawn Rosenheim states in a foreword to this Johns Hopkins University Press reprint of Quinn’s work, “It was as if Mozart had left his scores to Antonio Salieri….Poe has never fully recovered from Griswold’s portrait of him as a drunken, amoral, death-obsessed wretch” (p. xii). Griswold’s lies could not be further from the historical truth of Poe as a dedicated writer who tried to live a good life and worked hard at his craft. Griswold’s slanders were already known in 1850, when Charles Alexander, a publisher who had worked with Poe, wrote in response to a query that “With all his faults, [Poe] was a gentleman; which is more than can be said of some who have undertaken the ungracious task of blackening the reputation which Mr. Poe, of all others, esteemed ‘the precious jewel of his soul’” (p. 297). Yet today, the Poe-as-villain image fostered by Griswold still endures. It is as if some people find that image too cool, too grungy, too Goth, to let go of. But if that image persists, it is not Quinn’s fault. Quinn diligently sought out all the primary-source documents then available regarding Poe and his life and times. When considering Poe’s time at the University of Virginia, for example, Quinn gives us not only Poe’s original U.Va. Matriculation Book entry from February 14, 1826, but also Poe’s place among students who excelled in the Senior Latin and Senior French classes. Original letters from Poe – like a letter written from Baltimore on May 4, 1833, submitting what he called “Tales of the Arabesque” for possible publication by the New England Magazine – are not only quoted but reproduced in Poe’s own handwriting on the printed page. These, combined with the abundant drawings, engravings, and photographs that Quinn includes, and no less than twelve appendices, do much to put the reader in Poe’s time. As the Critical Biography subtitle indicates, Quinn provides literary criticism of Poe’s work, along with biographical facts of Poe’s life. When considering two stories published by Poe in 1844, for instance, Quinn dismisses “The Spectacles” as “one of the most absurd of the Grotesques. The story of Mr. Talbot, who is so near-sighted that he falls in love with his great-great-grandmother, defies comment” (p. 400). By contrast, “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains” receives praise from Quinn as a tale in which “The realistic treatment of the supernatural was rarely better done by Poe” (pp. 400-01). Quinn’s literary judgments are judicious, and most readers will probably tend to agree with them, as when Quinn lauds Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” as “a powerful tale of revenge in which the interest lies in the implacable nature of the narrator” and adds, in praise of the story’s concision, that “There is not one word to spare in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’” (p. 500). Quinn is able to consider Poe’s work in the context of both Poe’s life and Poe’s previous work, as when he writes of the poem “For Annie” that “‘For Annie’ is one of Poe’s finest poems….In ‘The Bells’ he had imitated sounds by other sounds. In ‘For Annie’ he did something much more difficult. He reproduced an emotional state by a short throbbing measure, in which the very incoherencies mirror perfectly the mood” (p. 600). And as this poem was published in 1849, the year of Poe’s too-early death at the age of 40, there is a special pathos in the way Quinn draws attention to two specific lines from “For Annie” – “And the fever called ‘Living’/Is conquered at last” – as evidence that Poe “had not ceased to possess the secret of the magnificent phrase” (p. 600). Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography closes by contrasting Griswold’s calumnies with the verifiable facts of Poe’s life. Quinn sees Griswold as “a representative of his time”, a spokesman for the “great wave of moralistic effort” then sweeping the country. He suggests that to the reform-minded public of the 1840’s and 1850’s, “Poe’s life as portrayed by Griswold, was a horrible but delicious bit of source material” -- and that, for that Puritanical public, the facts of Poe’s life were simply irrelevant, as “Goodness, like happiness, has no history that is interesting to the reforming spirit” (pp. 692-93). While Quinn acknowledges Poe’s faults – his tendency to alienate people who could have helped him, his lapses into substance abuse – he emphasizes “the real Edgar Poe, the industrious, honorable gentleman…the warm friend and courteous host” (p. 694), a man who was loved most by those who knew him best. With regard to Poe the literary artist, many readers of today would agree with what Quinn wrote back in 1941 – that Poe “remains not only the one American, but also the one writer in the English language, who was at once foremost in criticism, supreme in fiction, and in poetry destined to be immortal” (p. 695). Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, 75 years after its publication, remains the definitive Poe biography. Every reader who is interested in Edgar Allan Poe's life and work should read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lilah

    An excellent compilation of material on Poe's life. Probably the best biography written on him for its lack of a narrative approach. An excellent compilation of material on Poe's life. Probably the best biography written on him for its lack of a narrative approach.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Brannon

    A more thorough biography has never been written about one of the most eminent writers of fiction and poetry. A must read for anyone interested in learning the true story of Poe and his distractors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve Kemp

    By far ,the best written and researched of Poe's biographies . By far ,the best written and researched of Poe's biographies .

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

    C-. nonfiction, biography, informative, but tedious

  9. 5 out of 5

    Myrna Medrano

    Love Edgar A. Poe.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julia Harris

    Probably the most comprehensive and accurate biography on Poe out there. Not only does he detail his life using accurate and reliable sources, Quinn lays to rest many false rumors perpetuated by Griswold systematically and effectively. Don't plan on reading it in any hurry but it is worth the time. Probably the most comprehensive and accurate biography on Poe out there. Not only does he detail his life using accurate and reliable sources, Quinn lays to rest many false rumors perpetuated by Griswold systematically and effectively. Don't plan on reading it in any hurry but it is worth the time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Edgar Allan Poe has remained one of my favorite authors since high school -- Premature Burial, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher-- come on, what’s not to love in these macabre tales -- so when I made the decision to read a Poe biography I first did some research to find out what biographies were ranked as the best, most thorough, most accurate. I was well aware that there are a multitude of Poe biographies out there, many of them, according to Poe autho Edgar Allan Poe has remained one of my favorite authors since high school -- Premature Burial, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher-- come on, what’s not to love in these macabre tales -- so when I made the decision to read a Poe biography I first did some research to find out what biographies were ranked as the best, most thorough, most accurate. I was well aware that there are a multitude of Poe biographies out there, many of them, according to Poe authorities, carelessly researched and unreliable. This volume by Quinn published in 1941 rose to the top of the list on most rankings as the most detailed, well-documented, unbiased biography of Edgar Allan Poe. It is very heavy on Poe’s own correspondence, letters printed in full or excerpts. What emerges over the course of the 700-plus pages is a well-rounded portrait of a complex character, his strengths as well as his weaknesses, not always flattering. Poverty, or near poverty, seems to have haunted Poe most of his life, and according to his letters he was never shy about asking friends, relatives, and business associates for help. Some of the letters plead, others look for payment as redress for some past slight or injustice, real or imagined -- these were the least admirable moments. To be fair, though, for Poe it most likely was a matter life or death, literally. Besides his poetry and fiction, Poe edited a variety of literary periodicals over the years, and wrote literary criticism. As a critic, he was held in high regard by many, honest and perceptive, but oftentimes brutal in his assessments, which only had the effect of making enemies he did not need. He had glowing things to say about contemporaries Dickens and Hawthorne: Mr. Dickens, through genius, has perfected a standard form which Art itself will derive its essence, its rules. [315] -- but an early review of Cooper was scathing: ...a flashy succession of ill-conceived and miserably executed literary productions, each more silly than its predecessor...[283] This has been called the “definitive biography of Edgar Allan Poe,” and judging from its meticulous research, adherence to facts, and unwillingness to dabble in wild speculation or pop-psychology analysis, it surely must be. At times the constant breaks in the narrative flow for extended citations from correspondence I found annoying, however, caeteris paribus, I’d rather have that additional information at my disposal than not. Overall, a great read which gave me a more accurate and insightful look at the author whose work I’ve admired for decades.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dorian Driscoll

    This book is very detailed. Quinn dispels several myths about Poe without avoiding legitimate criticisms about him. Poe's upbringing was far from ideal; his parents were very active travelling actors, and his father likely left his mother with little or no means to support herself and her children. Even though he ended up with the Allans, he was never formally adopted and his relationship with his not-really-adopted-father was generally strained. While he exhibited high intelligence from a very yo This book is very detailed. Quinn dispels several myths about Poe without avoiding legitimate criticisms about him. Poe's upbringing was far from ideal; his parents were very active travelling actors, and his father likely left his mother with little or no means to support herself and her children. Even though he ended up with the Allans, he was never formally adopted and his relationship with his not-really-adopted-father was generally strained. While he exhibited high intelligence from a very young age, little of this was owed to his schooling. While a child he was briefly in Europe, and he attended a university for a short period of time. It was here that he had the vice of gambling attributed to him. While this is true, it should be understood that Allan sent him essentially without any money, which was considered absurd since everything had to be paid for, and this usually not by the students. Even though he gained a reputation as a drunkard, this is also sort of a myth, as Quinn shows by citing personal letters defenses written on Poe's behalf by friends after he had passed away; it was more that he had an incredibly low tolerance to alcohol, and so whenever he had did drink he became insanely drunk: seeing someone do this once would likely convince people that this person was generally a drunkard. Moreover, Poe's conduct and statements from his personal letters show that he was generally an overly emotional and frequently unstable person; he had difficulty countenancing the notion that his genius (and he definitely considered himself a genius) was going to be wasted away by poverty and inability to achieve any dependably lucrative stations in life. There is mention of his having sold a slave, but this was largely a financial matter which he signed for: as is generally known, a very small percentage of people actually owned slaves, and Poe could barely support himself and his family, much less have the money for another person. This is not to condone the practice, but merely to put it in context insofar as Poe's actual involvement with the practice was. His marriage to his cousin is perceived negatively primarily due to the scope through which future readers see it. It is strange that he knew her before she was even a woman and that she was related, but other than this he did appear to have a genuine affection for her; indeed, every time she seemed to be dying Poe practically lost his mind with grief, and this happened a good few times. Seeing as how he was never emotionally stable to begin with, it's no surprise that after she died he began pursuing other women and even spoke of his marriage as one to which he condescended, that he did not feel the affection he claimed he did and even wrote about. Given Poe's temperament, this is likely false: Poe was one to be caught up in the moment, whether about love, poetry, literature, or anything else that excited him; and as is known from his literary criticism, Poe resorted to falsehood, name-calling, and generally nastiness when he was provoked or even when he was legitimately criticized. While he was a genius, he was not a wise or practical man: he could be very impulsive, he made decisions based on emotions repeatedly, was impatient, could occasionally not accept criticism very well, and his aspirations always tended to be wholly disproportionate to what reality could offer him. His almost immortal folly was entrusting his legacy to Rufus Griswold who, thank God, is now known only as the blackguard that attempted to tarnish Poe's name. This book is amazing and I totally recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    http://nerdylooksgoodonyou.blogspot.c... Just for Fun: Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, Arthur Hobson Quinn While reading this on the train one day, a man sitting next to me leaned over and said, "Isn't that the guy who married his cousin?" I wasn't sure how to answer that because I had passed the part of Quinn's biography explaining that Poe only married his cousin because he cared for her and his aunt, and not because he was mentally deranged. They were married and loved each other, but we http://nerdylooksgoodonyou.blogspot.c... Just for Fun: Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, Arthur Hobson Quinn While reading this on the train one day, a man sitting next to me leaned over and said, "Isn't that the guy who married his cousin?" I wasn't sure how to answer that because I had passed the part of Quinn's biography explaining that Poe only married his cousin because he cared for her and his aunt, and not because he was mentally deranged. They were married and loved each other, but were not "in love" in a romantic sense of the word, according to my interpretation of Quinn's analysis. How does one explain that to a stranger on the train without first highlighting Poe's extremely complicated relationship with his foster family who adopted him after both of his parents died? I said, "Yes." Poe's writings have fascinated me since middle school. I had a teacher in fifth grade English who had our class read several of Poe's short stories. She realized immediately that I had fallen in "book love" and gave me a paperback copy of some of her favorites. I have that book around here somewhere, and have pulled it out every few years to remind myself of those first favorites. The Tell Tale Heart and The Black Cat were two in that collection. I remember drawing in pencil a picture of a man with a "tell tale brain" as part of some follow-up activity for the former. I spent hours drawing his brain and the plants surrounding the walking man, and ran out of time so only had time to color in the brain, red of course. As for the later, I vividly remember the teacher saying, "I hate cats" and (as an animal lover) being extraordinarily alarmed. Only after reading the story several times through did I understand she had a sense of humor. Quinn seemed to feel obligated to defend Poe's every move. In his mind, Poe was a wonderful person who the world destroyed with its hateful, unfair ways. I do agree that in many of the circumstances portrayed in the biography, that Poe had an unfortunate lot; I do not agree, though, that there weren't things he could have done to help himself out of those situations. Poe was apparently a very intelligent, bitter man who did not know how to keep his thoughts and opinions to himself. That doesn't make him a terrible person, he doesn't need defending. If it weren't for his ruminative thoughts and his anger we never would have experienced his writings. He doesn't need to be sorry for his "sins" and we do not need to pretend he was some sort of hero in his personal life. I loved reading about one of my favorite authors, and the collections of letters to and from Poe included in this biography were extraordinarily interesting. It'll be a short time before I need to get my hands on another biography of Poe so I can read more of those.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharyl

    Although Poe's biographers will never fully resolve the tangled web of his writing and his life, it is Poe's good fortune, and ours, that in Arthur Hobson Quinn, Poe found a biographer who recognized that the deepest interest in Poe's life is not the way it repeated the themes of his fiction, but the high ambition and persistence Poe showed in pursuing the profession of authorship throughout the course of that life. --Shawn Rosenheim This biography, which is now about seventy-three (73) years old, Although Poe's biographers will never fully resolve the tangled web of his writing and his life, it is Poe's good fortune, and ours, that in Arthur Hobson Quinn, Poe found a biographer who recognized that the deepest interest in Poe's life is not the way it repeated the themes of his fiction, but the high ambition and persistence Poe showed in pursuing the profession of authorship throughout the course of that life. --Shawn Rosenheim This biography, which is now about seventy-three (73) years old, is impressive in so many ways. The research, the writing, and the objectivity cannot be more in earnest. Seldom have I read, with rapt attention, 650 pages about one subject, as I did here. (There are about 200 pages of appendices, bibliography, and footnotes.) There are a multitude of Poe biographies, and I feel very fortunate to have chosen this one! (Wow, this took me a month)

  15. 5 out of 5

    M Yung

    Wow...Quinn did the most comprehensive analysis of Edgar Allan Poe than anything else I have come across. Poe is my favorite poet and author. I have taught him for many years but have always had questions about him and his esoteric life. Quinn has answered all my queries in a very detailed fashion...I mean DETAILED!! This book is definitely a vast undertaking as it tilts about three pounds in girth and just shy of 900 pages. With all that said, I definitely recommend this biography for anyone wh Wow...Quinn did the most comprehensive analysis of Edgar Allan Poe than anything else I have come across. Poe is my favorite poet and author. I have taught him for many years but have always had questions about him and his esoteric life. Quinn has answered all my queries in a very detailed fashion...I mean DETAILED!! This book is definitely a vast undertaking as it tilts about three pounds in girth and just shy of 900 pages. With all that said, I definitely recommend this biography for anyone who wants a thorough depiction of Poet's life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Undine

    Although this seventy-year-old book is inevitably somewhat dated, it is still by far the most intelligent biography of Poe that has yet to appear. Quinn is, ironically, at his weakest when discussing Poe's writings (although his chapter on "Eureka" is interesting.) However, his book provides the most clear-eyed and rational view of Poe as a person available in print. For anyone interested in learning about Poe, this is indisputably the place to start. Although this seventy-year-old book is inevitably somewhat dated, it is still by far the most intelligent biography of Poe that has yet to appear. Quinn is, ironically, at his weakest when discussing Poe's writings (although his chapter on "Eureka" is interesting.) However, his book provides the most clear-eyed and rational view of Poe as a person available in print. For anyone interested in learning about Poe, this is indisputably the place to start.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    I felt sorry for Edgar, if this book is anything like his real life (as biographies should be). After reading this we went to Baltimore, rode by his house, and grave. Such a drug induced genius he must of been. What a sad man he also must have been. He only reached his truest fame posthumously. Good read, not sure I believe every aspect of this book, again a historical biography.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Walker

    Extraordinarily well researched and comprehensive, this 1940's biography of Edgar Allan Poe dismisses effectively many of the misconceptions about Poe and his life. Best read if you are familiar with the wide range of Poe's poetry and prose. Extraordinarily well researched and comprehensive, this 1940's biography of Edgar Allan Poe dismisses effectively many of the misconceptions about Poe and his life. Best read if you are familiar with the wide range of Poe's poetry and prose.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jimmie

    Thought I had read all of Mr. Poe's writing, but did not realize he was really a poet and a critic also. He had such a sad life and then to have his reputation destroyed by lies was heartbreaking. Hope he is now resting in peace. Now must read his poetry. Thought I had read all of Mr. Poe's writing, but did not realize he was really a poet and a critic also. He had such a sad life and then to have his reputation destroyed by lies was heartbreaking. Hope he is now resting in peace. Now must read his poetry.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I am obsessed with EAP and love learning more and more about him, but this book has almost too much information. That is just to say that if you are an obsessive fan of Poe you will love all the information but if you want a simple biography of him I suggest you find a different book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Breanna

    I think you should let me read the book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Good but dry bio of Poe.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimia Fazaee

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hartley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Savanna

  26. 5 out of 5

    Klaudija

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rene Bard

  28. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gerafounder

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Fiedler

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