In his brief and troubled life, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) was as haunted by tragedy and loss as he was plagued by poverty, illness and alcoholism. Poe's personal misfortunes doubtless influenced the dark romanticism of his work. Obsessed with death, decay and the madness, he created compelling narratives of characters trapped in perverse situations.
The profound influence of his stories and poetry extends not only to world literature but also to the visual arts. This outstanding collection, selected and edited by Jeff A Menges, features scores of memorable moments from Poe's writings recaptured in gripping images of eerie beauty by the author's most acclaimed interpreters.
More than 100 illustrations, reproduced in brilliant color and crisp black-and-white, include hard-to-find images from private collections as well as those from sought-after rare editions. Poe Illustrated features scenes from such popular tales as The Fall of the Hose of User, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Gold-Bug, The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado as well as The Bells and other poems. Spanning a fifty-year period, they range from Édouard Manet's 1875 lithographs for a French edition of The Raven to the 1935 illustrations of Arthur Rackham for The Tell-Tale Heart and other stories. Additional contributors include Arthur E Becher, W Heath Robinson, Byam Shaw and Harry Clarke, among others.
The editor provides an informative overview, as well as brief introductions to each of the artists and captions for their images. The authors start by stressing the balance of complementary oppositesleft brain/right brain, challenge/comfort, practicality/the sacredas crucial to beginning the journey. Then through guided imagery, they lead readers through subconscious realms to connect with archetypal sources of inner wisdom. This process frees the creative and healing spirit, connecting explorers with the body's instinctive intelligence, which expresses itself through the creation of art. This wonderful softbound book measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches and has 81 pages, almost all with illustrations.