19 January 2009

If Edgar Allan Poe were alive, he'd be 200 today!

January 19 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of American writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849).

Since BDC Connections deals with advocacy for libraries and archives, matters of an historic, cultural, or environmental nature in a quite small geographical location, and best preservation practices for family treasures and library materials,

Q: What is the connection Poe has to South Carolina that touches on one or more of the BDC Connections themes?

The short answer is:
He, like many others, served part of his military duty in coastal South Carolina and became inspired by our natural beauty to write a tale of historical fiction about it.

The Edgar Allan Poe Branch Library on Sullivan's Island in Charleston County is named in his honor. Poe was stationed on Sullivan's Island as a private in the United States Army in 1827 and 1828 and used the island setting as the background for his famous story of pirates and lost treasure, "The Gold Bug." For an updated approach to "The Gold Bug," (including a YouTube preview of a film release), try this.

I recommend these Poe related websites:
The Edgar Allan Poe Collection at Enoch Pratt Free Library

Nevermore 2009 for information about Poe sites in Baltimore

Poe Revealed, 1809-2009 offers curricular material for Teachers and Students studying the literary contributions of Poe

Times Topics: Edgar Allan Poe includes commentary and archival articles from the New York Times about Poe sites and historical fiction about Poe.

Novels About Poe

The murder of Edgar Allan Poe : a novel by George Egon Hatvary (Available at BLU, HHI)

The Poe shadow : a novel by Matthew Pearl (Available at BEA, BLU, HHI)

Disquiet heart : a thriller by Randall Silvis (Available at BEA, HHI)

Other authors who write in a Poe connection are Linda Fairstein and Laura Lippman.

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