In this podcast episode, we will be discussing Mark Dawidziak’s book “A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe”. Poe was a renowned writer famous for his tales of horror and mystery, who died at the young age of 40. The book explores the life of Poe and the mysteries surrounding his death.
Poe’s life was plagued with misfortunes, including the death of his mother and father, which led him to be taken in by John Allan, a Richmond merchant. Despite his natural flair for the dramatic, Poe struggled to achieve financial security throughout his life, owing to his attraction to doomed women, an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and a witty tongue that often made him enemies. However, his distinctive looks and unique style of writing eventually brought him fame, although he did not profit much from it.
The book examines how success would have changed Poe’s mindset and how many things had to go wrong in his life for us to have him as a part of our literary horror landscape. It makes us wonder how the last 175 years of horror literature would have looked without his influence.
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Poe’s death is his whereabouts in the days prior to his death. There were no witnesses or sightings, and his condition at the time of his death was unclear. Poe was found delirious, wearing someone else’s clothes, in the gutter of a Baltimore polling station when he was supposed to be on his way to New York. The cause of his death is also unknown, with a long list of candidates, including binge drinking, rabies, murder, a brain tumor, and encephalitis.
Overall, “A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe” is a fascinating exploration of one of America’s most enigmatic writers. The book provides readers with a deep understanding of the man behind the legend, and the impact that his life and work have had on the horror genre. Whether you are a fan of Poe or just interested in American literature, this book is a must-read.
Thank you for tuning in to our podcast, and we hope you enjoyed our discussion of “A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe” by Mark Dawidziak.
Also Read: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Booklicious Podcast | Episode 37
A Mystery of Mysteries by Mark Dawidziak | Booklicious Podcast | Episode 38