The fall of the House of Usher

 
9781519273376: The fall of the House of Usher
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EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849), born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of itinerant actors, became an orphan in early childhood, and was taken into the household of John Allan, a tobacco exporter of Richmond. He took his foster father´s name as his middle name from 1824. He came to England with the Allans and attended Manor House school at Stoke Newington, and spent a year at the University of Virginia. His first volume of verse, “Tamerlane and other poems” was published in 1827 anonymously and at his own expense; then enlisted in the US army under the name of Edgar A. Perry, and entered West Point in 1830. He worked as editor on various papers, including the “Southern Literary Messenger”, and began to publish his stories in magazines. His first collection, “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque”(1840) contains one of his most famous works: “The fall of the House of Usher”, a Gothic romance in which the narrator visits the crumbling mansion of his childhood companion, Roderick Usher, to find both Usher and his twin sister Madeline in the last stages of mental and physical weakness.

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About the Author:

Edgar Allan Poe (/po?/; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitioners of the short story. Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. Poe was born in Boston, the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia. They never formally adopted him, but Poe was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of secondary education for the young man. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time that his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with the anonymous collection of poems Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". With the death of Frances Allan in 1829, Poe and Allan reached a temporary rapprochement. However, Poe later failed as an officer's cadet at West Point, declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, and he ultimately parted ways with John Allan. Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. Poe died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, at age 40; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

From AudioFile:

This production of Poe's Fall of the House of Usher is nothing less than spectacular. The cover gives a long list of credits which is evidence of the many unique facets of the production. Brad Hill has composed an original score which evokes Poe's wonderful, moody prose. Battista has just the right voice and inflection to create the atmosphere of escalating terror. Wonderful sound effects (galloping horses, creaking doors, etc.) reflect brilliant editing. A warning on the cover states that the tape may test the limits of the ordinary sound system. While a Sony WalkmanŞ gave no problems, a more sophisticated system made the story even better. S.B.M. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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