August 31, 2005

A Book Worth Purloining, Perhaps?

As we previously reported, Robert Downey Jr. will play Edgar Allan Poe in a biopic about the legendary master of the macabre. In anticipation of "Poe," (scheduled for release next year), you may want to study up on the author's life. (Yes, there's more to know than just the fact that he was a boozer who married his 13-year old cousin.)

An enjoyable read is the novel "Poe & Fanny" by John May, which takes you through an interesting imagining of the author's final year of life, based on gathered facts from the time. Living in New York City in 1845, the author gained his greatest notoriety that year following the publication of "The Raven." (He was sort of like the "Eminem" of his outcast whom both the masses and the cultural elite embraced.) He also formed a budding "friendship" with female poet Fanny Osgood, and although they tried to keep their love for one another on the down-low, their passion became transparent in the none-too-subtle poetry they published in literary magazines. Fanny was the bright spot in the writer's otherwise depressing world of indigence, alcoholism, massive writer's block and the sad and slow demise of his ailing wife, Sissy. But, sadly, Poe's involvement with his muse marked the beginning of his end. Whether you're a diehard Poe fan or just enjoy tales set in the Victorian era, this is one I'd recommend. -- Amy

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