Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lighthouse at the End of the World (1995) Stephen Marlowe

The Lighthouse at the End of the World by Stephen Marlowe (1995) concentrates on Poe's last week alive and has C. Auguste Dupin trying to solve his disappearance.

Deathday: Mystery Writer Stephen Marlowe 2008

Stephen Marlowe (born Milton Lesser, August 7, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY, died February 22, 2008, in Williamsburg, Virginia) was an American author of science fiction, mystery novels, and fictional autobiographies of Christopher Columbus, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, and Edgar Allan Poe. He is best known for his detective character Chester Drum, whom he created in the 1955 novel The Second Longest Night. Lesser also wrote under the pseudonyms Adam Chase, Andrew Frazer, C.H. Thames, Jason Ridgway and Ellery Queen.

He was awarded the French Prix Gutenberg du Livre in 1988, and in 1997 he was awarded the "Life Achievement Award" by the Private Eye Writers of America. He lived with his wife Ann in Williamsburg, Virginia.

His fictional Poe autobiography, "The Lighthouse at the End of the World" (1995), puts Poe in the center of a mystery story in the final days of his life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"A Valentine" Published 1846

An ode to Frances Sargent Osgood. To translate the address, read the first letter of the first line in connection with the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line, and so on. The name will thus appear.

1.For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
2. Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
3. Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! — they hold a treasure
4. Divine — a talisman — an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
5. The words — the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
6. And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
7. If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
8. Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
9. Of poets, by poets — as the name is a poet's, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
10. Like the knight Pinto-Mendez Ferdinando —
Still form a synonym for Truth — Cease trying!
11. You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

A Valentine (1846)

First published in the New York Evening Mirror's February 21, 1846 issue, "A Valentine" was written specifically for Frances Sargent Osgood, whose name is hidden within the lines of the poem. In its first publication, it had the title "To Her Whose Name Is Written Below." To find the name, take the first letter of the first line, then the second letter of the second line, then the third letter of the third line, and so on. Before its publication, it was presented at a private literary salon at the home of Anne Lynch Botta on February 14, 1846. Though Poe was not in attendance, it was a very public revelation of his affection for Osgood.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Lenore" Published 1843

"Lenore" is a poem by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. It began as a different poem, "A Paean," and was not published as "Lenore" until 1843.

A Pæan

by Edgar Allan Poe

How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead,
That ever died so young?

Her friends are gazing on her,
And on her gaudy bier,
And weep ! - oh! to dishonor
Dead beauty with a tear!

They loved her for her wealth -
And they hated her for her pride -
But she grew in feeble health,
And they love her - that she died.

They tell me (while they speak
Of her "costly broider'd pall")
That my voice is growing weak -
That I should not sing at all -

Or that my tone should be
Tun'd to such solemn song
So mournfully - so mournfully,
That the dead may feel no wrong.

But she is gone above,
With young Hope at her side,
And I am drunk with love
Of the dead, who is my bride. -

Of the dead - dead who lies
All perfum'd there,
With the death upon her eyes,
And the life upon her hair.

Thus on the coffin loud and long
I strike - the murmur sent
Through the grey chambers to my song,
Shall be the accompaniment.

Thou died'st in thy life's June -
But thou did'st not die too fair:
Thou did'st not die too soon,
Nor with too calm an air.

From more than fiends on earth,
Thy life and love are riven,
To join the untainted mirth
Of more than thrones in heaven -

Therefore, to thee this night
I will no requiem raise,
But waft thee on thy flight,
With a Pæan of old days.

First authorised edition, Pioneer, February 1843, 1:60-61


by Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, broken is the golden bowl!
The spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!—A saintly soul
Glides down the Stygian river!
And let the burial rite be read—
The funeral song be sung—
A dirge for the most lovely dead
That ever died so young!
And, Guy De Vere,
Hast thou no tear?
Weep now or nevermore!
See, on yon drear
And rigid bier,
Low lies thy love Lenore!

"Yon heir, whose cheeks of pallid hue
With tears are streaming wet,
Sees only, through
Their crocodile dew,
A vacant coronet—
False friends! ye loved her for her wealth
And hated her for her pride,
And, when she fell in feeble health,
Ye blessed her—that she died.
How shall the ritual, then, be read?
The requiem how be sung
For her most wrong'd of all the dead
That ever died so young?"

But rave not thus!
And let the solemn song
Go up to God so mournfully that she may feel no wrong!
The sweet Lenore
Hath "gone before"
With young hope at her side,
And thou art wild
For the dear child
That should have been thy bride—
For her, the fair
And debonair,
That now so lowly lies—
The life still there
Upon her hair,
The death upon her eyes.

My heart is light—
No dirge will I upraise,
But waft the angel on her flight
With a Pæan of old days!
Let no bell toll!
Lest her sweet soul,
Amid its hallow'd mirth,
Should catch the note
As it doth float
Up from the damned earth—
To friends above, from fiends below, th' indignant ghost is riven—
From grief and moan
To a gold throne
Beside the King of Heaven?"


The poem discusses proper decorum in the wake of the death of a young woman, described as "the queenliest dead that ever died so young," The poem concludes: "No dirge shall I upraise,/ But waft the angel on her flight with a paean of old days!" Lenore's Fiance, Guy de Vere, finds it inappropriate to "mourn" the dead; rather, one should celebrate their ascension to a new world. Unlike most of Poe's poems relating to dying women, "Lenore" implies the possibility of meeting in paradise.[1]

The poem may have been Poe's way of dealing with the illness of his wife Virginia. The dead woman's name, however, may have been a reference to Poe's recently-dead brother, William Henry Leonard Poe.[2] Poetically, the name Lenore emphasizes the letter "L" sound, a frequent device in Poe's female characters including "Annabel Lee," "Eulalie," and "Ulalume."[3]

Major themes

Death of a beautiful woman (see also "Annabel Lee," "Eulalie," "The Raven," "Ulalume." In Poe's short stories, see also "Berenice," "Eleonora," "Morella").

Publication history

The poem was first published as part of an early collection in 1831 under the title "A Pæan." This early version was only 11 quatrains and the lines were spoken by a bereaved husband. The name "Lenore" was not included; it was not added until it was published as "Lenore" in February 1843 in The Pioneer, a periodical published by the poet and critic James Russell Lowell. Poe was paid $10 for this publication.[4] The poem had many revisions in Poe's lifetime. Its final form was published in the August 16, 1845, issue of the Broadway Journal while Poe was its editor.[5]

The original version of the poem is so dissimilar from "Lenore" that it is often considered an entirely different poem. Both are usually collected separately in anthologies.[6]

Lenore in other works

The ballad Lenore, written by German poet Gottfried August Bürger and published in 1773, has a protagonist who is punished for blasphemy by a demon with the appearance of her dead lover.

A character by the name of Lenore, thought to be a deceased wife, is central to Poe's poem "The Raven" (1845).

Roman Dirge made a comic book inspired by the poem, involving the comedic misadventures of Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl.

Lenore is a French model.[1]

Lenore is an overture of Beethoven. [2]

"My Lost Lenore" is a song by the gothic metal band Tristania, inspired by Poe's work and included in their 1998 album Widow's Weed.


1.^ Kennedy, J. Gerald. Poe, Death, and the Life of Writing. Yale University Press, 1987: 69. ISBN 0-300-03773-2
2.^ Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. Harper Perennial, 1991: 202–203. ISBN 0-06-092331-8
3.^ Kopley, Richard and Kevin J. Hayes "Two verse masterworks: 'The Raven' and 'Ulalume'," as collected in The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Kevin J. Hayes. Cambridge University Press, 2002: 200. ISBN 0-521-79727-6
4.^ Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. Harper Perennial, 1991: 201. ISBN 0-06-092331-8
5.^ Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. Checkmark Books, 2001: 130. ISBN 0-8160-4161-X
6.^ Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe. Louisiana State University Press, 1972: 68. ISBN 0-8071-2321-8

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (1942)

The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (1942)

Poe is played by John Shepherd (later known as Shepperd Strudwick). Stunning Linda Darnell plays Virginia Clemm. A quite young Henry Morgan (billed as Henry Morgan) aka MASH's "Colonel Potter" shows up as Ebenezer Burling

IMDB Plot Summary:

"Edgar Allan Poe led an unhappy childhood, broken only by the unceasing devotion of his foster mother, Mrs. Frances Allan, whose loving ministrations gave him courage to carry out his desire to write. His first love was Elmira Royster, and though she married another while he was at the University of Virginia, he could never purge his thoughts of her and, under the influence of her spell, he poured out the deepest passions of his heart. After a discouraging period during which he was disowned by his foster father and lost his appointment to West Point, he found the love that tamed his restless heart with Virginia Clemm. After he and Virginia married, Poe did his greatest creative work, writing for the Southern Literary Messenger and Graham's Magazine."

Plot summary written by Les Adams on IMDB.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe: The Troy Dossier (1978)

The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe: The Troy Dossier, is a novel written by Manny Meyers, first published in 1978 by the J.B. Lippencotte Company. It was released as a mass market paperback under the title The Troy Dossier by BMI books in 1986.

The novel concerns Hollis Beckwith, the superintendent of the nascent New York City Police Department (established in 1845) enlisting the aid of Edgar Allan Poe to solve a pair of murders in 1846. The story is filled with sex and violence, and attempts to stay true to the character and known history of Poe. The plot concerns an attempt to overthrow the United States government.

The novel is one of the earliest to engage the historical Edgar Allan Poe as a protagonist in a detective novel. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the classic tropes of detective fiction with his character C. Auguste Dupin, so it is natural that writers would utilize him in their fictions, especially given the recent rise of the historical novel. Many other writers have done this, including Louis Bayard in The Pale Blue Eye and true crime writer Harold Schechter in a series of novels.

Critical reaction

Allen J. Hubin, in "AJH Reviews," (Armchair Detective, 12 (1979), 111-117) commented that, although the story itself is not impressive, the character of Poe and the "ambiance of mid-nineteenth century New York" are.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Enigma" Published 1833

Enigma (1833)

First printed in the February 2, 1833, issue of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, "Enigma" is a riddle that hints at 11 authors. Line two, for example, references Homer and the ninth refers to Alexander Pope. It was signed only with "P," though Thomas Ollive Mabbott attributed the poem to Poe - and solved the riddles.

For the Baltimore Visiter

The noblest name in Allegory's page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage;
A pleasing moralist whose page refined,
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;
A tender poet of a foreign tongue,
(Indited in the language that he sung.)
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page
At once the shame and glory of our age,
The prince of harmony and stirling sense,
The ancient dramatist of eminence,
The bard that paints imagination's powers,
And him whose song revives departed hours,
Once more an ancient tragic bard recall,
In boldness of design surpassing all.
These names when rightly read, a name [make] known
Which gathers all their glories in its own.

-The End-

Baltimore Saturday Visiter, Feb. 2, 1833

This poem is attributed to Poe by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, who also gives the answers to the puzzles as:

line - author:

1 - Spenser
2 - Homer
3-4 - Aristotle
5-6 - Kallimachos
7-8 - Shelley
9 - Alexander Pope
10 - Euripides
11 - Mark Akenside
12 - Samuel Rogers
13-14 - Euripidies
15-16 - William Shakespeare

[As evidenced by his Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), Poe was fond of the rhyme of "power" and "hour," here used in plural form.]

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Singular Conspiracy (1974) Barry Perowne

A Singular Conspiracy (1974) by Barry Perowne is a fictional treatment of the unaccounted period in Edgar Allan Poe's life from January to May 1844.

Poe visits Paris under an assumed name, having used travel papers belonging to a stranger he has seen wounded in a bar-room brawl in New York. He has the intention of parlaying his West Point training into a position in the Lafayette Circle, a group of volunteer soldiers about to aid Poland against its' Russian occupiers. This inveigles Poe with a young Charles Baudelaire in a plot to expose Baudelaires' stepfather (who rejects Poe's application) to blackmail, to free up Baudelaires' patrimony.

Barry Perowne was a pseudonym of the British writer Philip Atkey (1908–1985), best known for crime fiction. Another pseudonym was Pat Merriman. He continued the A. J. Raffles series after its creator E. W. Hornung's death, as well as other stories with his own characters.

Ernest William Hornung (7 June 1866 – 22 March 1921)[1], known as Willie, was an English author, most famous for writing the Raffles series of novels about a gentleman thief in late Victorian London.

Hornung was born in Middlesbrough, England, the third son[2] and youngest of eight children[1] of John Peter Hornung, who was born in Hungary. Ernest Hornung was educated at Uppingham School during some of the later years of its great headmaster, Edward Thring. Hornung spent most of his life in England and France, but in December 1883 left for Australia, arrived in 1884 and stayed for two years where he worked as a tutor at Mossgiel station in the Riverina[1]. Although his Australian experience was brief, it coloured most of his literary work from A Bride from the Bush published in 1899, to Old Offenders and a few Old Scores, which appeared after his death. Nearly two-thirds of his 30 published novels make reference to Australian incidents and experiences.[3]

Hornung returned to England in February 1886, and married Constance ("Connie") Aimée Monica Doyle (1868–1924), the sister of his friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on 27 September 1893[1]. Hornung worked as a journalist and also published the poems Bond and Free and Wooden Crosses in The Times. The character of A. J. Raffles, a "gentleman thief", first appeared in Cassell's Magazine in 1898 and the stories were later collected as The Amateur Cracksman (1899). Other titles in the series include The Black Mask (1901), A Thief in the Night (1905), and the full-length novel Mr. Justice Raffles (1909). He also co-wrote the play Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman with Eugene Presbrey in 1903.

After Hornung spent time in the trenches with the troops in France, he published Notes of a Camp-Follower on the Western Front in 1919, a detailed account of his time there.

Hornung's only child, a son, was killed at Ypres on 6 July 1915; Hornung then took up work with the YMCA in France. Hornung died in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the south of France on 22 March 1921[1], survived by his wife[2].

In addition to his novels and short stories Hornung wrote some war verse, and a play based on the Raffles stories was produced successfully. Hornung was much interested in cricket, and was "a man of large and generous nature, a delightful companion and conversationalist."

The model for Raffles was George Ives, a Cambridge-educated criminologist and talented cricketer according to Lycett [4].


A Bride from the Bush (1890)
Under Two Skies (1892)
Tiny Luttrell (1893)
The Boss of Taroomba (1894)
The Unbidden Guest (1894)
The Cricket on the Green (1895)
The Rogue's March: A Romance (1896)
Young Blood (1898)
Dead Men Tell No Tales (1897)
The Amateur Cracksman (1899)
The Belle of Toorak (English title) (1900) /
The Shadow of a Man (American title) (1900)
Peccavi (1900)
The Black Mask (1901)
The Shadow of the Rope (1902)
Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman (1903) play with Eugene Presbrey
Denis Dent: A Novel (1904)
A Thief in the Night (1905)
Stingaree (1905)
Mr. Justice Raffles (1909)
The Camera Fiend (1911)
Fathers of Men (1912)
The Thousandth Woman (1913)
The Crime Doctor (1914)
Trusty and Well Beloved (privately printed) (1915)
Ballad of Ensign Joy (1917)
Wooden Cross (1918)
Notes of a Camp-Follower on the Western Front (1919)
The Ballad of Ensign (1919)


Some Persons Unknown (1898)
The Young Guard (1919)
Old Offenders and a Few Old Scores (1923)


1.^ Stephen Knight, 'Hornung, Ernest William (1866–1921)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, MUP, 1983, pp 369–370. Retrieved 5 August 2009
2.^ Serle, Percival (1949). "Hornung, Ernest William". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
3.^ Eric Irvin, Dictionary of the Australian Theatre 1788–1914
4.^ The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett pages 229–230 (2007, Weidenfield & Nicolson, London and Viking, New York) ISBN 0-7432-7523-3
Rowland, Peter: 'Raffles and His Creator: the Life and Works of E.W. Hornung' (Nekta Publications,London, 1999)