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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

by Edgar Allan Poe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,224382,839 (4.05)110
According to even his most forgiving biographers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was a difficult man. Arrested whilst touring Europe, and expelled from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he tended to lose both work and friends through drunkenness. Best known for his goriest stories, Poe is often presented to the modern reader as a writer of horror. However, this collection, published in 1852, offers a broader selection of his work. It includes one of his first pieces of detective fiction, 'The Gold-Beetle', resulting from his preoccupation with cryptography; 'A Descent into the Maelström', an early example of science fiction; the mesmeric verse of 'The Raven'; and some of his lesser-known love poetry. A pioneer of modern genre fiction, Poe remains important and influential in the American literary canon. This lavishly illustrated collection represents an excellent introduction to his work.… (more)
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» See also 110 mentions

English (34)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Tales of Mystery And Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe is a collection of short stories and novellas, some of these such as The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter and The Fall of the House of Usher were familiar to me, but there were plenty more that were new to me.

Although I didn’t love the story, I was glad to finally read “The Pit and the Pendulum” as it is a story that I heard about for years. Poe is an expert at writing short stories that feature both obsessive and abnormal behaviour as stories like “Ligeia” and “The Oblong Box” illustrate. He also is a master at portraying horror as in “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. All of the stories gathered in this book have been published in other volumes but this is a comprehensive collection of this work.

This anthology has a total of 22 stories and these lurid tales of the macabre, although written in the 1800’s, are still dark and disturbing today. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 12, 2022 |
Since I'm not a fan of Poe's writing I shall restrict my review of this book to the illustrations - they are the only reason that I picked up this book in the first place.

Rackham is known for his whimsical fairytale illustrations, but he applies his signature silhouettes and linework well to Poe's tales of horror. His mastery of chiaroscuro is evident in the full-page illustration of "the Assignation," which depicts two men in a boat on a Venetian canal. It is clear that the scene occurs at night, but Rackham is able to illuminate the scene with his characteristic balance of black and white. I found the colour panels to be less satisfying, in fact, because the sedate pastel tones (also a Rackham trademark) dampen the intensity of the characters and wash out the compositions. Overall a good showcase of Rackham's work of a more adult subject. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Harry Clarke's vivid and disturbing illustrations, reminiscent of the work of Aubrey Beardsley, bring hideous life to Poe's stories, and I find myself returning to both the stories and the illustrations again and again.

My parents had a copy of the original version of this book, published by Tudor Publishing Co. Calla Editions has done a truly excellent job with this reproduction, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

If you have any interest in either Poe's fiction, or weird art, this book will give you a lifetime of enjoyment--and if you're lucky, a nightmare or two! ( )
  piquant00 | Oct 20, 2018 |
I feel like these stories vary significantly in quality, some are brilliant stories that make it clear why Poe is still so popular. Others I just had no idea what I was reading or why. So read Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Tell-tale Heart, but maybe skip The Colloquy of Monos and Una and Silence. Although seen as a gothic or horror writer there are other genres such as detective stories in here, they are very wide-ranging, just not all good. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jan 27, 2018 |
Poe stories, having been countlessly reworked into contemporary pop culture, might no longer surprise or shock modern audiences. For the uninitiated, however, these remain timeless psychological thrillers with a lush gothic style that is simultaneously captivating and chilling, deserving of a read if only for its historical literary importance. ( )
  kitzyl | Dec 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edgar Allan Poeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ayrton, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, GrahamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colum, PádraicIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rackham, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teason, James G.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thal, Herbert vanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Many years ago I contracted an intimacy with a Mr William Legrand.
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According to even his most forgiving biographers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was a difficult man. Arrested whilst touring Europe, and expelled from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he tended to lose both work and friends through drunkenness. Best known for his goriest stories, Poe is often presented to the modern reader as a writer of horror. However, this collection, published in 1852, offers a broader selection of his work. It includes one of his first pieces of detective fiction, 'The Gold-Beetle', resulting from his preoccupation with cryptography; 'A Descent into the Maelström', an early example of science fiction; the mesmeric verse of 'The Raven'; and some of his lesser-known love poetry. A pioneer of modern genre fiction, Poe remains important and influential in the American literary canon. This lavishly illustrated collection represents an excellent introduction to his work.

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Book description
Contains the following short stories:

The Gold Bug

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

MS. Found in a Bottle

A Descent into the Maelstrom

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Mystery of Marie Roget

The Purloined Letter

The Fall of the House of Usher

The Pit and the Pendulum

The Premature Burial

The Black Cat

The Masque of Death

The Cask of Amontillado

The Oval Portrait

The Oblong Box

The Tell-Tale Heart

Ligeia

Loss of Breath

Shadow - A Parable

Silence - A Fable

The Man of the Crowd

Some Words with a Mummy
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