The life of Edgar Allan Poe (1809 1849) is the quintessential writer's biography great works arising from a life of despair, poverty, alcoholism, and a mysterious solitary death. It may seem like a cliche now, but it was Poe who helped shape this idea in the popular imagination. Despite of or inspired by his many hardships, Poe wrote some of the most well-known poems and intricately crafted stories in American literature. In "Edgar Allan Poe", Kevin J. Hayes argues that Poe's work anticipated many of the directions Western thought would take in the century to come, and he identifies links between Poe and writers and artists such as Walter Benjamin, Salvador Dali, Sergei Eisenstein and Jean Cocteau. Written in an approachable, jargon-free style, "Edgar Allan Poe" will appeal to all readers interested in biography, literary history, American culture and modern thought.