Celebrating Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe, the master of the macabre, was born on this day in Boston, 1809. Both his life and his writing were compounded by tragedy and unfortunate circumstances, and he died at age 40 due to unknown causes.

Most of us are already familiar with The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart, but modern authors have shone a light onto the lesser known aspects of Poe’s life, bringing a new element of intrigue to his writing. Whether you’re an unofficial Poe expert, or looking to learn more about this mysterious man’s life, here’s a list of books and modern adaptations to fuel your curiosity.

The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard

“A tale of murder and revenge set in the early days of West Point, featuring a retired New York City detective and a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe.”






Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living by Paul Collins

“Looming large in the popular imagination as a serious poet and lively drunk who died in penury, Edgar Allan Poe was also the most celebrated and notorious writer of his day. He died broke and alone at the age of forty, but not before he had written some of the greatest works in the English language, from the chilling “The Tell-Tale Heart” to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”–the first modern detective story–to the iconic poem “The Raven.””




Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

“Struggling to support her family in mid-19th-century New York, writer Frances Osgood makes an unexpected connection with literary master Edgar Allan Poe and finds her survival complicated by her intense attraction to the writer and the scheming manipulations of his wife.”





Dark Graphic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

“Edgar Allan Poe goes down in history as the inventor of the detective story and the master of the macabre. Playwright and theater director Denise Despeyroux and illustrator Miquel Serratosa take you on a dark, mysterious journey through three of Poe’s short stories: embark on a treasure hunt in “The Gold Bug”; visit an insane asylum in “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”; and face psychological terror in “The Fall of the House of Usher.””




Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe by Harry Lee Poe
818.309 POE

“The popular Poe– The Raven , Tell-Tale Heart , The Black Cat –has inspired a generation of readers long disenchanted with the normative tradition of American literature. But is the popular Poe–incessantly drinking, drug-addicted, and entranced by the terror of death–the real Poe? Harry Lee Poe contends that, for more than two centuries, the great myth of Edgar Allan Poe has damaged both the popular reader’s understanding of Poe’s corpus and the historian’s depiction of Poe’s life. Through reviewing his poems and short stories, literary criticism and science fiction, Evermore reveals a Poe who is deeply confounded by the existence of evil, the truth of justice, and even the problems of love, beauty, and God.”



The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower

“Daniel Stashower, the Edgar Award-winning author of the highly acclaimed Arthur Conan Doyle biography Teller of Tales, delivers a gripping true story of murder and media mania–including the controversial involvement of Edgar Allan Poe–in 1840s New York.”






Happy reading!

—Katie, Adult Reference