Tuesday, 1 September 2009


We are very pleased to add an Edgar Allan Poe title to the Capuchin canon. Poe was an extraordinary and controversial figure, and the influence of his work still resonates to this day, especially through the crime, horror and detective genres in literature, film and television.

In addition to being widely recognised as the founder of the modern crime story, with his investigating genius Dupin (who brought what Poe describes as 'ratiocination' to his amateur crime-solving) Poe also developed and evolved elements of horror, the romantic and the macabre in his writing, and helped establish and define such writing for future generations of writers.

My own particular frames of reference for this writer include the highly eccentric but brilliant outpourings of an American Studies lecturer I had at university, among whose recommendations for further reading was a biography called "Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe", and the wonderful children's books by Joan Aiken (follow the link for one of the best and most originally-designed author's sites I've ever seen) about a raven called Mortimer and his hapless young 'owner' Arabel. Poe's raven lives on in this anarchically comic and rumbustious series, uttering, as did his gothic predecessor in Poe's poem, cries of "nevermore" whenever a situation displeased him. As with much children's literature, I was introduced to this series by a glorious rendition on the BBC's Jackanory programme, but only grasped the reference to Poe many years later.


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