"A&E Television's Biography" series adds a well-told tale with this volume about the nineteenth-century master of horror, suspense and darkness. A tragic figure, never popular or understood in his life, Poe commanded his legendary reputation only after his early and sad death. Orphaned at age two, he was shuttled between a series of homes but never warmly welcomed, especially since he remained determined to make his living writing poetry instead of in a respectable profession. His marriage at twenty-seven to his thirteen-year-old cousin in Baltimore further tarnished his reputation, and his inability to secure financial success, even with some well-published poems and stories, made poverty and illness his constant companions. This book names two of his demons as alcoholism and depression and leaves the reader sad that his life had to be so hard, especially since his loyalty to those who helped him and to his family was unflagging. Poe's mark on the world of literature is memorialized in Baltimore by his well-visited tomb and also by the choosing of the name "Ravens"after his famous poemfor the city's football team. 2001, Lerner, $25.26. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Judy Chernak
Gr 5-9-This concise and compelling biography will enable readers to understand the complex character of this gothic master, the time in which he lived, and his tragic life. A fair sprinkling of primary-source documents, excerpts, and black-and-white photos and etchings embellish the narrative. The book should encourage readers to seek out Poe's stories and poems.-Lisa Denton, J. S. Russell JHS, Lawrenceville, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.