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Halloween Countdown, Day 7

On this day in 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of forty under mysterious circumstances.

For more information about Poe's death, read "Mysterious for Evermore" by Matthew Pearl, an article on Poe's death from The Telegraph. Pearl is the author of a fascinating recent novel about the subject, The Poe Shadow.

Two years ago, on the occasion of Poe's 200th birthday, I took over the StarShipSofa Audio Science Fiction Magazine to host an hour-long tribute to this pioneer of the short story, luminary of Gothic horror, father of detective fiction, and giant of science fiction. You can listen to the podcast here at the StarShipSofa website, or download it here, or access it via iTunes. If you listen, I hope you enjoy my celebration of Poe's life, works, and legacy!

The following are some of my favorite links about Edgar Allan Poe:
* PoeStories.com: An Exploration of Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
* The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore
* The Poe Museum of Richmond (See my pictures of the museum here.)

Earlier this year, I visited his final resting place in Baltimore and took this photo:

Edgar Allan Poe's final grave


I was moved to see gifts and notes left for him by my fellow fans:

Items left at Edgar Allan Poe's final grave


Text of the Day: For today, one of my favorites, "The Premature Burial."

Excerpt:
I might refer at once, if necessary to a hundred well authenticated instances. One of very remarkable character, and of which the circumstances may be fresh in the memory of some of my readers, occurred, not very long ago, in the neighboring city of Baltimore, where it occasioned a painful, intense, and widely-extended excitement. The wife of one of the most respectable citizens-a lawyer of eminence and a member of Congress --was seized with a sudden and unaccountable illness, which completely baffled the skill of her physicians. After much suffering she died, or was supposed to die. No one suspected, indeed, or had reason to suspect, that she was not actually dead. She presented all the ordinary appearances of death. The face assumed the usual pinched and sunken outline. The lips were of the usual marble pallor. The eyes were lustreless. There was no warmth. Pulsation had ceased. For three days the body was preserved unburied, during which it had acquired a stony rigidity. The funeral, in short, was hastened, on account of the rapid advance of what was supposed to be decomposition.

The lady was deposited in her family vault, which, for three subsequent years, was undisturbed. At the expiration of this term it was opened for the reception of a sarcophagus; -- but, alas! how fearful a shock awaited the husband, who, personally, threw open the door! As its portals swung outwardly back, some white-apparelled object fell rattling within his arms. It was the skeleton of his wife in her yet unmoulded shroud.


Read the complete story.

Download an unabridged narration from Librivox.org.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rossart1
Oct. 7th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
The Raven new movie
Just to let you all know... The Raven movie
The Raven is scheduled to hit theatres on March 9, 2012.
http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/4984-edgar-allan-poes-death-day-the-raven-trailer-and-images.html
the Raven Trailer today
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/theraven/
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:41 am (UTC)
Re: The Raven new movie
Oooh! Thanks so much for the heads up on this.
semaht
Oct. 8th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I loved, loved, loved The Poe Shadow!
Anyone who is considering reading it, DO! Even if you are not a Poe fan.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 8th, 2011 09:41 am (UTC)
I agree 100%! I loved it, too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )