what is Poe's MOST famous works?greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
what is poe's MOST famous works?
-- Anonymous, May 23, 2001
Famous poem? Famous story? Famous when? Famous among whom?
In his day, his most popular work was 'The Gold Bug' (1843), which was so widely read that he thought about changing the name of his collected works from 'Tales' to 'The Gold Bug and Other Tales'. This story had (according to Poe, anyway) more than 300,000 copies in circulation and there were plays adapted from it.
His most famous poem, then and now, has to be 'The Raven' (1844). This was popular in the UK and the USA, and was reproduced everywhere. There were instant tribute poems, parodies and even advertising campaigns which adapted it.
Today, 'The Gold Bug' has lost some of its popularity because his representation of an Afro-American ex-slave is not considered acceptable. (This is a long, complex story which we don't need to go into here.) Therefore, 'Fall of the House of Usher' is (partly thanks to film adaptations) probably his best known story.
Along with 'The Raven', 'Annabel Lee' and 'The Bells' are common pieces to teach in schools, thus ensuring that they are widely known. (Whether or not being forced to learn them makes them popular with kids is a seperate issue!)
It is also worth noting that his most famous piece of non-fiction is probably 'The Philosophy of Composition' (1845) which explains how he wrote 'The Raven'
-- Anonymous, May 24, 2001