A groundbreaking exploration of one of America’s most iconic and misunderstood authors

Edgar Allan Poe: A Life is the most comprehensive critical biography of Poe yet produced, exploring his fascinating life, his extraordinary work, and the vital relationship between the two. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre found in such works as “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” this legendary American author continues to intrigue and enthrall his devoted readers. Written by one of the world’s leading Poe experts, this biography is a rich and rewarding study for the general reader as well as for the seasoned scholar. Richard Kopley combines a biographical narrative of Poe’s enduring challenges—including his difficult foster father, his personal losses, his great struggles with depression and alcoholism, and the poverty that dogged his existence—with close readings of his work that focus not only on plot, character, and theme but also on language, allusion, and structure in a way that enhances our understanding of both. While incorporating past Poe scholarship, this volume also relates unknown stories of Poe culled from privately held letters unavailable to previous biographers, presenting a range of groundbreaking archival discoveries that illuminates the man and his oeuvre in ways never before possible.

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