Poe – Writer and Poet

Edgar Poe

I thought it was about time I did an article on Edgar Allan Poe. He has influenced many great writers and without him literature as we know it today would not be the same.

Edgar Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 19 1809. His parents were only around for a year or two after he was born. His father left and his mother died a year later, making Edgar an orphan. He was taken in by a Frances and John Allan, but never formally adopted, his name became Edgar Allan Poe. In young adult-hood Edgar became more and more interested in writing. Poetry was the form of writing that Edgar seemed to be most fond of before he decided to try his hand at stories. Much of Edgar’s work has a dark romanticism about it. Edgar Allan Poe died October 7th, 1849 under mysterious circumstances.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not of known about Edgar Allan Poe:

The first thing Edgar published was in 1827, a pamphlet of poems, most of which were written when he was 14.

Edgar was poor majority of his life.

The Raven was Edgar’s most successful poem. The Raven came about when he was trying to set himself a personal challenge of writing a 100 line poem. He in fact wrote 108 lines.

The creation of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by a french detective that Edgar wrote about.

Edgar married his cousin Virginia when she was 13 and he was about 26 or 27. The marriage lasted 11 years until she died.

He joined that army at one stage under the false name of Edgar. A. Perry

Edgar Allan Poe was actually considered quite handsome by many people, only in his final years did he grow more facial hair and have a permanently brooding look about him.

Edgar Allan Poe had a rival and his name was Rufus Griswold. Edgar didn’t have a very high opinion of Rufus and questioned his literary integrity.  Rufus managed to succeed Edgar by becoming the editor of Graham’s magazine. After Edgar’s death, Griswold decided to write an obituary and also a false biography depicting Edgar to be a raving drunk mad-man.

Many theories exist on why Edgar died. He was discovered on a Baltimore street wearing someone else’s clothes October 3rd. Edgar woke days later at the Washington Medical College where his final words were: “Lord, help my poor soul.” Some of the theories surrounding his death include: Alcoholism, heart disease, drugs, rabies, suicide, murder and a brain tumor.

Edgar Allan Poe loved cats and they loved him. Supposedly he had a tortoiseshell cat named Caterina that died two weeks after he did.

Edgar was buried in an un-marked grave. Rumours and gossip started to spread and finally a tombstone was ordered, strangely enough though it was destroyed in a train accident.

Some writing by Edgar Allan Poe that you should check out:

Poems

The Raven                A Dream Within a Dream          The Bells               Lenore

The City in the Sea           Tamerlane          Eulalie                 To Helen                 

The Conqueror Worm            The Haunted Palace        

   Ulalume          Annabel Lee                     Eldorado                 Al Aaraaf

Stories

The Murders in the Rue Morgue             The Oval Portrait             The Tell-Tale Heart

The Black Cat               Morella              The Premature Burial                           Ligeia                    

The Purloined Letter              The Gold-Bug               The Imp of the Perverse

The Fall of the House of Usher             The Pit and the Pendulum          

The Masque of the Red Death

The Cask of Amontillado             Hop-Frog         

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether

A Descent into the Maelstrom              

The Facts in the Case of M. Vlademar                         

Bell Night

Peter Straub: An author to add to your horror collection!

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Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 2nd 1943. He is an author and poet, best known for his work in the genre of horror. He was the eldest of three sons, his mother was a nurse and his father was a salesman. Straub began his writing career by publishing two small books of poetry and by writing two novels in the 1970’s. These novels were called Marriages and Under Venus. These two novels were not very successful, but in spite of that Straub continued writing. A lot of Stephen King fans will recognise the name Peter Straub because of his collaboration with him on the novels The Talisman and Black House.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Peter Straub:

Fans will be excited to hear that there are rumours of Straub and King doing a third Talisman book.

Straub’s parents had higher ambitions for their son other than becoming a writer. Straub’s father wanted him to become a professional athlete.

Straub is a great fan of Jazz, Opera and other kinds of classical music.

His wife’s name is Susan.

When Straub was seven years old his was temporarily paralysed after being hit by a car. He was in a wheelchair for a little and had to re-learn how to walk. He early on became aware of his own mortality.

In 1981 his novel Ghost Story was loosely adapted into a film. One of the main actors in this film was Fred Astaire.

To name just some of Straub’s favourite authors: Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Donald Harington and John Crowley.

Straub has had his novels translated into more than twenty languages.

Something wise that Straub once said: “I wish I’d known at the beginning that all I really had to do is trust myself. Everything would work out as if by magic once I actually leaned back into my imagination and just let it work, and not question it and not fret about it.”

If you are a horror fiction fan and need something new to read, pick up a book by Peter Straub. Well worth the read!

Novels to read:

Koko       

Ghost Story                

If You Could See Me Now                

Mystery

Shadowland          

Julia                   

The Throat               

The Hellfire Club        

Mr X.                 

Under Venus             

Marriages             

Floating Dragon      

Lost Boy, Lost Girl                

In the Night Room             

A Dark Matter

Peter Straub and Stephen King:

The Talisman                  

Black House

Poems:

Open Air                      

My Life in Pictures

Ishmael

Lesson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970 – 1975              

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