August 5, 2015

Wednesday Writing Wisdom (19) Edgar Allan Poe

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

Edgar Allan Poe
(1809 - 1849)
Curious facts about:

Poe is regarded as the “father of the modern literary detective” after he created Le Chevalier C Auguste Dupin as the protagonist for The Murders in the Rue Morgue in 1841. This book is widely considered to be the first detective-fiction story, and Poe brought back Dupin for two further works – The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1842) and The Purloined Letter (1844). Poe terms Dupin’s investigative talent as “ratiocination” – rational and exact reasoning – and this work helped to lay the foundations for the modern-day detective genre of literature.

He loved Cats. Really. Contrary to the famous and nasty depiction of a man gouging the eye of a poor feline in “The Black Cat,” Poe adored animals. His own kitty’s name was Catterina. After hearing of Poe’s death, his mother-in-law discovered that his beloved tortoiseshell cat Catterina had also just died.
 Poe was athletic and handsome, as well as mysterious and brooding. He held a record for swimming six miles up the tidal James River in Virginia, and he enjoyed rowing around Turtle Bay in New York City and hiking through the countryside. He was also a champion long jumper.

In the 1860s, the medium Lizzie Doten published some poetry she claimed had been dictated to her by Poe’s ghost. His fiancée Sarah Helen Whitman (after his first wife’s death but before his engagement to Elmira Shelton) hired a medium to move in with her because she thought Poe’s spirit was trying to communicate with her, too.


  1. His poetry is so lyrical and beautiful to say out loud. "my darling my darling my wife and my bride" as example. Lovely tribute to an iconic writer.

  2. Not only that, but he also created highly appreciated detective stories. One of my favorite authors. Thanks fro visiting, Flossie!

  3. Ooo, Poe is one of my favorite authors. I devoured his stuff when I was in high school. Definitely a master at creating atmosphere!

    1. Have you noticed he loved cats, Mae? Most people with artistic talent are animal lovers. Thank you for dropping by, Mae!

  4. Oh, yes, I noticed. He had good taste :)
    I agree with you that most artists love animals, and writers especially, seem to be attracted to cats. Not that I can blame them in the least!

  5. I love his stories. He sounds like such an interesting person as well as a super writer. Thanks for reminding me of him.