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Edgar Allan Poe

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Buchbesprechung von Christian Rauch

(simplified version)

About the author

PoeEdgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was orphaned early in life. He was taken into the house of Edgar Allan, who became his godfather and took him along to live in England from 1815-1820. There Poe studied at a classical academy. After the death of Mrs. Allan, Poe and his godfather severed relations. In 1831, after attending several schools, among them West Point, Poe moved to New York. His early publications won him fame and the position as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Later he moved to Philadelphia and worked on Burton's Gentleman's Magazine.

In 1836 Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm. She died eleven years later of tuberculosis. Poe's next professional engagement was with the Evening Mirror in New York starting in 1845. His own paper, The Broadway Journal, was a financial desaster. After the death of his wife, Poe turned to alcohol abuse. These drinking binges left him so exhausted that he fell seriously ill by October 1849. A few days later he died.

His best known works are:


  • Tamerlane
  • Annabel Lee
  • The Raven


  • Manuscript Found in a Bottle
  • The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
  • The Gold Bug
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Purloined Letter
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Fall of the House of Usher

Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a book of short stories, was written by Edgar Allan Poe. I am only going to tell you about one story in this book. It is The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The story takes place in the 18th century in Paris.

The plot

One night a crime is committed in the Rue Morgue. A rich woman and her daughter are murdered. Nothing is stolen. The only thing that’s left behind by the murderer are some hairs. A man and his clever friend Auguste Dupin hear of the crime and want to see the house. They look around and find the hairs. They find out that the hairs are from an ape. In the newspaper they find that a sailor searches his monkey. Auguste Dupin wants to meet the man in the house of the murdered woman. The sailor arrives. Dupin starts asking him a lot of questions and wants the man to tell him what he knows about the crime. After a while the sailor starts telling all that he knows. His monkey has run away from him and he has followed him. He has seen how he jumped through an open window. As the sailor was looking through the window he saw how the ape killed the women. When the wild animal saw its master it disappeared again. Dupin tells the story to the police and the crime is solved.


My opinion

This book was really exciting for me to read and was easy to understand. The author wrote it very well so that you are always surprised at the end by who the real murderer is. I can only recommend it to everybody who’s interested in horror and mystery.


Edgar Allan Poe Society Baltimore

Poe's Home in Philadelphia

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Various Texts by Edgar Allan Poe

Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Mystery & Detection Homepage