The Tell-Tale Heart
The Tell-Tale Heart
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  • 'Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a groan of mortal terror ... the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul.'Stories about murder, mystery and madness, portraying the author's feverish imagination at its creative height.Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Poe's works available in Penguin Classics are The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Portable Edgar Allan Poe and The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 49), was born in Boston, USA. His parents were actors but both suffered from tuberculosis and died in 1811. The two-year-old Edgar was taken in by John Allan, a wealthy merchant - hence the middle name. He had a very happy childhood as the only child of a rich family. He did well at school, especially in languages and athletics. In 1926 Edgar went to the University of Virginia. In his first term her did no work, spending his time on wine, women and song! He had a huge row with his step-father and ran away to join the army. A few years later Mrs Allan begged her husband to find him and make up the quarrel. This happened but the two men never managed to have a good relationship again. When his wife died, John Allan remarried and his new wife hated Edgar. So, by 1831 he was out in the world, alone and broke.

    Edgar was by now writing poetry but with little success. He did find a new family, an aunt and married her fourteen-year-old daughter. They moved from place to place and so Edgar moved from job to job getting the occasional story printed. They were very poor, often cold and close to starvation. His wife was ill and Edgar was almost an alcoholic. When his wife died, Edgar began to court wealthy widows and his writing became more and more tortured. George Bernard Shaw called him, 'the finest of finest of artists'; but he died alone in pain and poverty when he was only forty. Almost his last words were: 'I wish to God someone would blow my damned brains out.' - it is not difficult to see why some of his best-remembered stories are grotesque and macabre.


     

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