An Edgar Allan Poe Companion: A guide to the short stories, by J R Hammond

By J R Hammond

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Luxuriant style, his backdrops of ruined castles and palaces with their rich but tasteful draperies, his damp and misty landscapes, his obsession with ancestry and tradition- all have the feel, almost the smell of England. Much of this is derivative, borrowed from English and other European authors, but there is no doubting the influence of four and a half boyhood years in England. 5 As a result of his years of schooling and travelling in England and Scotland Poe had seen, long before most of his American contemporaries, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the dawn of the railway age.

Beside himself with grief, he plunged into the writing of'Eureka', a long prose-poem in which he set The Life of Edgar Allan Poe 21 out in mystical form his theories of the universe. In this last period of his life he wrote some of his finest poems, including 'Ulal ume' and 'The Bells', and two of his most deeply felt short stories, 'The Cask of Amontillado' and 'Hop-Frog'. His own health was now visibly deteriorating. Sensing perhaps that his ambitions were slipping from his grasp, he began to crave feminine sympathy and understanding.

CL ~t~ 1 _Je..... J. - ~f KO"\;'w... ~ ~ ~~~~ ~ F-~ ~ ~ dajt; ~ J ~"' - ~e.. , 5od ~ C~ J "11,or rMr '. ~f ~ ~, 0 -J.. C. 9 ~FYI-~~ w~~ j,, tJJ. ~rA-e J vu. rrY vwm.. ;: ~ ~ ~ h~MM. r. (;, ~ Facsimile of Veraea by Edgar Allan Poe. 7. Facsimile of verses by Poe. The neat, regular handwriting is entirely characteristic of him. 8. Poe's cottage at Fordham, where he lived during the closing years of his life. The rustic, romantic setting of the cottage was deeply attractive to Poe and is reflected in such stories as 'The Domain of Arnheim' and 'Landor's Cottage'.

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