Fantabulous Friday: Master of the Macabre



My Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, insists that we give a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, the American author, poet, literary critic and editor whose literary contributions could scare the stuffing out of you!

A master of mystery and the macabre, Poe was part of the American Romantic Movement and also is credited  by many as creating the detective genre in writing and contributing to what was a growing genre known as science fiction.

Poe’s troubled life began early. Both parents were actors, and his father abandoned the family. His mother died the next year, and the young Edgar Poe went to live with a John and Frances Allan. Although they never formally adopted him, they did give him his middle name “Allan.”

After a brief stint of study at the University of Virginia, Poe left college life and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army. It was during his post at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor that Poe released Tamarlane and Other Poems. He served at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina, but like most of his military career was unsuccessful. Poe left the Army to attend West Point, but difficulties with his foster family led him to seek a court martial, and he became estranged from them.

Poe began a publishing career, but his life was often marked by turmoil. In 1836, Poe married his 13-year-old first cousin Virginia Clemm. His young wife died of tuberculosis in 1847, and Poe was found October 3, 1849, wandering the streets of Baltimore in a state of delirium. He died four days later at the age of 40.

With such stories as “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” — and many other haunting tales and poems — it is no wonder that Poe’s works often are associated with the supernatural, a good fit with Halloween.

In the spirit of frightful literature, our posts Oct. 28 – 31 will deal with books, stories and other things that conjure what is scary!





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