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-- "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'"
Now those are words to conjure with! They are, of course, from Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem, "The Raven." Poe casts a uniquely powerful spell among American writers. Even people who have never read him have probably heard bits of his poetry or know the titles of some stories, such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher." Although he is most famous for dark and gloomy tales and verses, Poe was also the inventor of the modern detective story and a pioneer of science fiction.
If you're a true Poe aficionado, you owe it to yourself to make pilgrimages to some of the important places in his short, strange life. And when you do, get a sense of the author by reading works that he wrote in those places. Castle Books' Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe is a handy volume to travel with. Or you can use your laptop to access all of Poe's writings at The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore's website.
What follows are some suggestions for visiting the important spots in his life, and some corresponding reading...