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07.09.04 Poe, Edgar Allan, a biography by Arthur Hobson Quinn titled: Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography, published in 1941 by D. Appleton-Century, London

Notes Concerning the Author

Arthur Hobson Quinn (1875-1960), a Philadelphia‐born scholar, studied at the University of Pennsylvania and taught English and Drama there from 1895 to 1945.  In addition to his biography of Poe, he is also noted for his books on theater.

But first and foremost you should read our overview of the works of Poe at 20.00.04.


Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of “The Red Mask of Death,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Murders of the Rue Morgue,” Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success. “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” have been read as signs of his personal obsessions, and “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Descent into the Maelstrom” as symptoms of his own mental collapse.  Biographers have seldom resisted the opportunities to confuse the pathologies in the stories with the events in Poe’s life.  Against this tide of fancy, guesses, and amateur psychologizing, Arthur Hobson Quinn’s biography devotes itself meticulously to facts. Based on exhaustive research in the Poe family archive, Quinn extracts the life from the legend, and describes how they both were distorted by prior biographies.

Also consider Hervey Allen’s 1926 biography of Poe reviewed at 07.09.01.

Availability of this Book

At Amazon you can obtain a used copy of the original 1941 book as well as paperback reprints and a Kindle e-book version.