BookBrowse Reviews A Mystery of Mysteries by Mark Dawidziak

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A Mystery of Mysteries

The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe

by Mark Dawidziak

A Mystery of Mysteries by Mark Dawidziak X
A Mystery of Mysteries by Mark Dawidziak
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  • Published:
    Feb 2023, 288 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Jacob Lenz-Avila
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About this Book



A nuanced and page-turning introduction to the wonderful world of Edgar Allan Poe biography and scholarship.

Edgar Allan Poe biographers have an advantage over other writers because they don't have to come up with a hook. Their subject, the still-famous author of "The Tell-Tale Heart" and other spine-tingling treasures, took care of that by dying like one of his characters might have; at a premature age, of undetermined causes, soon after being discovered on a Baltimore street, delirious and wearing someone else's clothes. It's standard to wonder: Was he marked for death? Haunted? Born under a bad sign?

Yet in this enlightened century, when we've used artificial intelligence to scan Poe's writings for thought patterns consistent with clinical depression, when we've tested extant locks of his hair for traces of lethal chemicals that may have entered his system via a loose gaslight, most of us probably don't honestly view the unexplained phenomenon of his death as particularly sensational. ...

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