The work of Edgar Allan Poe

Listen in pop-out player

Edgar Allan Poe is credited with inventing science fiction, with writing the first detective story, and virtually inventing the genre of horror. In stories such as The Pit and the Pendulum, or The Fall of the House of Usher, he created enduring masterpieces of literary terror. Yet he spent most of his life in poverty and died in mysterious circumstances at the age of forty.

Kathryn is joined by four Poe fans to discuss his work. Peter Ackroyd, the acclaimed novelist and author of non-fiction works about subjects including T.S. Eliot and London, has written a new biography of Poe; he joins Kathryn to discuss how Poe's strange obsessions and troubled relationships with women affected his life, and outline the mystery of his death.

Kathryn is also joined by the novelist Louise Welsh, the critic and writer Kim Newman, and the American academic Diane Roberts to look at the achievements and lasting influence of this seminal figure - with readings by Kerry Shale and a selection of Poe-inspired music.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 17 Jan 2008 16:00

This Week's Book List

Coffee.jpg

Read along with us - a list of books discussed in each programme

Words Around the World

Untitled31.jpg

From the beaches of Tel Aviv to the foothills of Colombia, enjoy our literary postcards

Close Reads

Close reading.jpg

A collection of insights into what make great texts work

Listen Anywhere

pods.jpg

Download this week's edition now or subscribe to receive future programmes automatically

More from Books at the BBC

Books at BBC logo

Author interviews, readings, documentaries and highlights from the BBC's books content