Illuminating Poe for everyone, evermore.
“The Tell-Tale Heart,” one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories, has inspired artists, filmmakers, and writers since its first publication in 1843. But it was two murders a decade apart that helped inspire Poe to write his macabre masterwork of psychological fiction. In Salem, Massachusetts, in April 1830, the ruthless murder of an old and wealthy sea captain rattled the city’s rich, sullied Salem’s reputation, and helped launch America’s obsession with true crime. A decade later, in December 1840, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a wealthy banker mysteriously disappeared. The discovery of his mangled corpse and the demeanor of his alleged killer made for great headlines in New York’s new Penny Press and planted the seeds for Poe’s masterpiece. Poe’s life during the period of these murders went from idealistic poet to soldier to struggling writer, set adrift by family rifts and his stubborn nature. Exquisite Wickedness examines these two crimes, Poe’s life during this period, the circumstances of the writing of his famous story, and an unbelievable betrayal whose effects have lasted far beyond the grave.
Paperback, 192 pages
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