Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

Dimensions:
200 × 130 mm
192 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781861895158
Illustrations:
28 illustrations
Published:
01 Sep 2009
Series:
Critical Lives

Edgar Allan Poe Kevin J. Hayes

The life of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is the quintessential writer’s biography – great works arising from a life of despair, poverty, alcoholism, and a mysterious solitary death. It may seem like a cliché now, but it was Poe who helped shape this idea in the popular imagination. Despite of – or inspired by – his many hardships, Poe wrote some of the most well-known poems and intricately crafted stories in American literature. In Edgar Allan Poe, Kevin J. Hayes argues that Poe’s work anticipated many of the directions Western thought would take in the century to come, and he identifies links between Poe and writers and artists such as Walter Benjamin, Salvador Dalí­, Sergei Eisenstein and Jean Cocteau.

Written in an approachable, jargon-free style, Edgar Allan Poe will appeal to all readers interested in biography, literary history, American culture and modern thought.

‘The biography possesses an engaging style, and it is both well researched and scholarly while simultaneously accessible to a broader audience. Hayes is concise but judicious in his critical analysis of Poe's individual works within their historical context . . . Haye's biography is highly readable, richly informative, and well illustrated . . . freshly original . . . I highly recommend this book.’ – The Edgar Allan Poe Review

‘This contribution to Reaktion's Critical Lives series fills the significant need for a well-researched, short biography of Edgar Allan Poe . . . Hayes has produced an excellent short biography that students, scholars, and Poe's many fans will all find to be an accurate and illuminating introduction to the author's life and work.’ – Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Show all

Kevin J. Hayes is Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His previous books include Poe and the Printed Word, The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe and The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson.