Download A Historical Guide to Edgar Allan Poe (Historical Guides to by J. Gerald Kennedy PDF

By J. Gerald Kennedy

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), son of itinerant actors, holds a safe position within the firmament of heritage as America's first grasp of suspense. showing scant curiosity in local scenes or fabrics, Edgar Allan Poe turns out the main un-American of yank writers in the course of the period of literary nationalism; but he was once whilst a practical magazinist, totally engaged in pop culture and extremely enthusiastic about the "republic of letters" within the usa. This ancient advisor includes an creation that considers the tensions among Poe's "otherworldly" settings and his traditionally marked representations of violence, in addition to a pill biography situating Poe in his ancient context. the next essays during this publication conceal such themes as Poe and the yank Publishing undefined, Poe's Sensationalism, his relationships to gender buildings, and Poe and American privateness. the quantity additionally features a bibliographic essay, a chronology of Poe's existence, a bibliography, illustrations, and an index.

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During this season of anticipation Poe also composed "Eleonora," a prophetic and surprisingly hopeful tale about a young man's quest for new love after the demise of his cousinwife. The story would soon come to haunt the author: while performing a song after dinner, possibly on the evening of Poe's thirty-third birthday in 1842, Virginia suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage and almost died. It was the first undeniable evidence of the consumption that would send her to an early grave. Agonized by her subsequent relapses, Poe fell ill himself, sought forgetfulness in drink, and largely neglected his magazine work.

In less than a year and a half, the author-editor-critic had nevertheless transformed the Messenger into a much-noticed periodical, and even if he exaggerated his impact on circulation (Whalen, 58-75), he had indeed achieved a certain celebrity. However much Poe's alcoholic absences or acerbic opinions figured in his dismissal, White also fired his editorial genius in response to financial distress. The publisher was deeply in debt, his wife was ill, and a strike by his press crew had disrupted production of the Messenger.

As Poe discovered in Richmond, there was mounting pressure to present a united Southern front on slavery, as well as increasing surveillance of newspapers and journals; but Poe (and White) also wanted to retain the support of Northern subscribers and so endeavored to articulate what Terence Whalen has called an "average racism," a lukewarm view of slavery that offended as few (white) readers as possible (111-46). While negotiating the tightrope of editorial politics, Poe tried to silence local gossip in May 1836 by betrothing Virginia in front of witnesses, including White and his daughter Eliza.

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