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Gothic, mysterious, theatrical, fatally flawed, and dazzling, the life of Edgar Allan Poe, one of America s greatest and most versatile writers, is the ideal subject for Peter Ackroyd. Poe wrote lyrical poetry and macabre psychological melodramas; invented the first fictional detective; and produced pioneering works of science fiction and fantasy. His innovative style, images, and themes had a tremendous impact on European romanticism, symbolism, and surrealism, and continue to influence writers today. In this essential addition to his canon of acclaimed biographies, Peter Ackroyd explores Poe s literary accomplishments and legacy against the background of his erratic, dramatic, and sometimes sordid life. Ackroyd chronicles Poe s difficult childhood, his bumpy academic and military careers, and his complex relationships with women, including his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin. He describes Poe s much-written-about problems with gambling and alcohol with sympathy and insight, showing their connections to Poe s childhood and the trials, as well as the triumphs, of his adult life. Ackroyd s thoughtful, perceptive examinations of some of Poe s most famous works shed new light on these classics and on the troubled and brilliant genius who created them."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780385508001
ISBN-10: 038550800X
Format: Hardback
(180mm x 130mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Nan A. Talese
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publish Date: 20-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Peter Ackroyd

PETER ACKROYD is the biographer of William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Thomas More, and the author of the bestselling "London: The Biography." The subject of his previous "Brief Life" was Isaac Newton. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature s William Heinemann Award (jointly) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and is the holder of a CBE for services to literature. He is the author of "Thames: The Biography." His novels include "The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde" (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), "Hawksmoor" (Guardian Fiction Prize), "Chatterton" (short-listed for the Booker Prize) and most recently "The Fall of Troy." He lives in London."

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