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Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe Book: The life, times, and work of a tormented genius (Everything: Language and Literature) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.78"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Adams Media
ISBN  1598695274  
EAN  9781598695274  
UPC  045079905276  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

The genius and orphan son of itinerant actors, Poe led a tragic life and suffered greatly as much at his own hands as those of Fate. Yet tragedy never stopped him from writing: poems, short stories, literary journalism, and even creating a new genre, the detective story a contribution so great that the most prestigious writing award for crime fiction, given annually by the Mystery Writers of America, bears his name.

"The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe" is a fascinating guide to the tormented genius, with critical insight into:

  • His difficult childhood
  • His 13-year-old bride
  • The truth about his drug use
  • The 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.


Buy Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe Book: The life, times, and work of a tormented genius (Everything: Language and Literature) by Shelley Costa Bloomfield from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781598695274 & 1598695274 upc: 045079905276

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
It's Not Nothing, But It's Hardly "Everything," Either  Oct 21, 2008
This book is an adequate enough introduction to Poe's remarkably complicated life--on a sort of "Edgar Allan Poe For Dummies" level--but for anyone wishing to get a true understanding of the man and his work, it inevitably falls short.

The "Everything Guide"--which, I assume, was intended as some sort of school textbook, as it is written on about a fourth-grade reading level--is an obvious blend of recent books and articles about Poe, often containing clumsily paraphrased and easily identifiable passages straight from these works. I have the feeling that the author didn't have much personal knowledge, or even interest, about Poe, but was hired by the publisher to merely summarize the most popular published opinions in an easily-absorbed format. Considering how virtually everything about Poe has been intensely debated by historians, this haphazard collating of texts leads to many confusions, vague assertions, and self-contradictions. (This is especially true in the section dealing with Frances S. Osgood, and the scandals that ensued over her acquaintance with Poe. Bloomfield falls into the common error of taking Osgood's affected, laboriously flirtatious poems at face value, and assuming from them--and Osgood's self-serving, misleading "reminiscences" published after Poe's death--that "Fanny" and Poe had much more of a relationship than the actual historical evidence indicates.)

Especially annoying (although understandable, under the circumstances,) is the author's heavy reliance on the writings of Susan Talley Weiss. Weiss was a minor Richmond poet who, in her later years, wrote prolifically about Poe, claiming to be an expert on his personal life, and describing in detail many long, intimate conversations she supposedly had with him. As Weiss was completely deaf (and unable to lip-read) her Poe anecdotes (which are usually quite bizarre on their face) must be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Additionally, on the few points where her statements can be verified, she is almost always completely wrong. It has always baffled me that this strange woman has been taken as anything other than comic relief by Poe historians, but after T.O. Mabbott--who never met a dubious Poe source he didn't like--gave her odd effusions his personal seal of approval, biographers use her writings without hesitation or question. This does a lot to help explain why there are so many bad Poe books out there.

In short, if you know of a schoolchild who has expressed an interest in learning about Poe, the "Everything Guide" is not the worst place to start. But it should be considered strictly as a start, not a finish.

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