I you had to choose three of Poes best books which three would they be?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I have to choose either three books written by Poe or three books of poems written by him for a school long term progect. I love what I have read of Poe, but am not as of yet sure what would be the best works of his to write a twenty five page essay on. Any and all suggetions are welcome and they would be of great help.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2000



The following are merely suggestions, depending upon which you select between his prose or poetry. As difficult as it is to believe, his tales of horror and melancholy make up but a portion of his lifes work. The suggestions are intended to represent a range of his talents.

For adventure and pure fun, you may wish to try The Gold Bug. It is a tale of hunting Captain Kidds treasure and involves three primary characters, the narrator, an old man by the name of Legrand and his old negro companion named Jupiter. The setting is an island off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston called Sullivans Island.

The second tale would be The Purloined Letter, a tale of ratiocination involving political intrigue in the French royal court. A confidential and very sensitive letter is openly stolen from a nameless lady of high station in the French court and the thief, known to her, hides the letter in an attempt to blackmail her. The Prefect of the Parisian Police, unable to find and return the letter, seeks the help of C. Auguste Dupin, Poes brilliant detective and master of deductive reasoning. This story is one of his better detective tales.

The third is The Cask of Amontillado. It is a story of a man compelled by family honor to seek retribution for an insult cast upon the House of Montresor by an conceited and arrogant acquaintance. It is a tale of premeditated murder committed in gruesome fashion but executed by specific criteria established in the first paragraph of the story.

For poetry, it would be difficult to omit The Raven. This is arguably the single most recognized poem written by an American author and, most certainly, the one most immediately associated with Poe himself. It is also the single work that gained Poe the widest recognition as a poet of astounding genius and talent. It is a powerful poem of a mans anguish and despondency over the loss of his lifes greatest love.

Secondly, I would suggest Annabel Lee for its lyrical verses and song like qualities. Written in the spring of 1949, it is said to have been his last poem and a tribute to his wife, Virginia.

Finally, I might suggest the first To Helen, the 1831 poem thought to be written for Ms. Jane Stith Craig Stanard of Richmond, Virginia and the mother of a boyhood friend of Poes, Robert Stanard. Written at the age of about 22, it is a magnificent little poem, remarkable for its brevity and perfection and a tribute to his love of beauty.

Best of Luck, Meagan.


-- Anonymous, September 18, 2000

Clearly, my finger must have slipped! That should read 'the spring of 1849', not 1949. : )

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2000

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