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A biography revealing as never before Poe's southern gentility and his vast influence on literature and letters
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A biography revealing as never before Poe's southern gentility and his vast influence on literature and letters
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Poet William Carlos Williams once remarked that "American literature is anchored in Poe." In this splendid critical biography, critic Hutchisson (English, The Citadel) demonstrates just how deeply indebted American letters remains to Edgar Allan Poe's craft and style. He chronicles Poe's childhood difficulties in Richmond, VA; his short-lived careers at the University of Virginia and West Point and in the army; and his development as a writer. While Poe is best remembered for his Gothic, often claustrophobic, tales of physical and psychological terror-e.g., "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Tell-Tale Heart"-Hutchisson argues that Poe really made his mark on American literature as a literary journalist and critic and that his work as a book reviewer helped hone the aesthetic principles he developed at length in "The Philosophy of Composition" and "The Poetic Principle." Hutchisson performs brilliant close readings of Poe's work, suggesting, e.g., that William Wilson can be read as a version of early American spiritual autobiographies like those by John Winthrop, Edward Taylor, and Jonathan Edwards. Though the contours of Poe's life are familiar, Hutchisson provides a fresh reading of his literary contributions that will not soon be surpassed. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578067213
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 3/23/2005
  • Series: Willie Morris Books in Memoir and Biography
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 827,357
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Chapter 1 Childhood: Boston, Richmond, England [1809-1825] 3
Chapter 2 The Byronic Youth: University, the Army, and West Point [1826-1830] 16
Chapter 3 Baltimore: Early Tales and Satires [1831-1834] 31
Chapter 4 Return to Richmond: Marriage, the Southern Literary Messenger, and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym [1835-1837] 46
Chapter 5 Philadelphia: Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and the Great Tales [1838-1840] 80
Chapter 6 Graham's Magazine, "The Penn," and the Red Death [1841-1843] 108
Chapter 7 New York: Triumphs and Troubles-"The Raven" and the Longfellow War [1844-1845] 149
Chapter 8 Quarrels, Loves, and Losses [1846-1848] 189
Chapter 9 The Journey and the Lighthouse [1849] 233
Epilogue 251
Chronology 258
Notes 261
Index 279
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended Biography

    Hutchisson's critical biography is a highly readable and informative account of Poe's life and works. It provides sound close readings of the tales and surpasses most biographies on Poe in its coverage of Poe's influence on later writers, both American and non-American. It is well-researched and balanced in its treatment of Poe's career as a poet, prose-fiction writer, journalist, and critic. It is a good biography for students of American literature to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    This is an absolutely enjoyable biography! I found that book grabbed me from the first page, and gives an insightful perspective on the mysterious author. It informs and delivers! This book is amazing!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2006

    Excellent Book!!!

    Possibly the best biography on E.A. Poe ever written! I couldn't stop reading. Hutchisson puts a stop to all the nasty rumors about Poe, such as the one about him being addicted to opium.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 15, 2009

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    Posted April 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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