Was Edgar A. Poe wife dieing when he was writing "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

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what was the reason for edgar writing the tell tale heart.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000


Dear Jillian,

Flicking through the chronology I have before me on Edgar Allan Poe and his life, I do believe that it is reasonable to say that Edgar Allan Poe wrote his story "The Tell-Tale Heart" when his wife Virginia had suffered serious haemorrhaging, around 1842.

It escapes me why you ask this particular question, as it would appear that there is no direct or explicit link between the two (I would have thought that a tale such as "The Masque of the 'Red Death'" was more suggestive of any possible linking between biographical events and literary craetions in this aspect of Poe).

Nonetheless, you ask about "The Tell-Tale Heart", and the reason Poe had for writing this. Seeing as Poe is no longer with us, it is rather hard for anyone to know the real reason behind the tale (It's not as if Oprah can ask him along to her Book Club dinners or anything). I would suggest that the only possible way of venturing an educated and informed opinion on this would be to locate any actual textual evidence which would back up a reason for the tale (something like a letter written by Poe at the time to a friend, or something in his own criticism like a review [as he wrote on his poem "The Raven": see "The Philosophy of Composition" although here again one must take what Poe writes on his construction of the poem "cum grano salis", and likewise for his tales], etc.).

Personally, I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at this precise moment in time, but leave the matter with me and I shall perhaps come up with a series of possibilities on the reason for Poe's writing this tale (of course this will be merely speculative or conjective, unless I come across any co-textual information such as letters, etc. If I do I shall also let you know).

Hope this helps you out:

Yours sincerely,

Pragmatic Poe

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

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