Tag Archives: literature

Murders in the Rue Morgue: Dupin Solves a Gruesome Murder

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), is the first detective story written by Edgar Allan Poe and is considered to be the first-ever story of the detective genre, In this fictional short-story, the Paris Police Chief (the Prefect) asks Poe’s Detective C. Auguste Dupin to solve the violent murder of a mother and daughter….

Poe’s Tales of Detective Fiction

MURRAY ELLISON–Urban crime was an area of acute interest in the nineteenth century in America and Europe because the public feared that it was rampant and out of the control of the police. To respond to this concern, Poe demonstrates increasingly complex aspects of ratiocination in each of his three Auguste C. Dupin detective-based tales….

Mellonta Tauta: An Imaginary Journey

Extracted from Dr. Murray Ellison’s MA Thesis on Poe and 19th-Century Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015© In Poe’s Imaginary Journey, “Mellonta Tauta” (1849), the narrator, Pundit, embarks on a balloon trip to outer space in the year of 2848 and writes a letter narrating the details of his journey. The name that Poe gives…

Poe Has “Some Words With A Mummy”

An excerpt from Murray Ellison’s 2015 MA Thesis from Virginia Commonwealth University on Poe and 19th-Century Science © Poe’s tale, “Some Words with a Mummy” (1845) provides one of the most revealing views about the low value he places in nineteenth-century science. Although the unnamed narrator of this short story, who also speaks in the…

A Look at Poe’s “MS. Found in a Bottle”

Excerpt from Murray Ellison’s 2015 VCU M.A.Thesis on Poe and 19th-Century Science © “The captain’s gray hairs are records of the past, and his grayer eyes are Sybils of the future. The cabin floor was thickly strewn with strange, iron clasped folios, moldering instruments of science and obsolete long-forgotten charts” – “MS. Found in a…

Poe’s Balloon Hoax – Part II

Written by Murray Ellison, 2015 As noted in Part I of this column, J. Harris was one of the many researchers who connected Locke’s “Moon Hoax” with Poe’s April 1844 New York Sun columns on the “Balloon Hoax.” As Eric Carlson comments, “In the considerable rush for copies” for the “Balloon Hoax,” they “were sold…

Poe’s Great Balloon Hoax – Part 1

This article is an excerpt from Murray Ellison’s VCU MA Thesis on Poe and Nineteenth-Century Science, ©2015 Near the end of his journalistic career, Poe was likely running out of actual science reports to write about that would excite the public’s interest in science as spectacularly as his fictional stories did. Perhaps, by that time,…

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part II

Modern Computer Solves Poe’s Last Inscrutable Puzzle Murray Ellison | April 13, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015. Poe published several columns on cryptography entitled “A Few Words on Secret Writing.” He explains that advanced puzzles, where the only secret to the code is “locked in…

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I Murray Ellison | February 1, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015. Poe continued to demonstrate an interest in unlocking mysteries and secrets in several of the essays and newspaper columns he wrote on secret codes and cryptography. These popular weekly…

Madwomen in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Nineteenth-Century Gothic Literature has often used themes of women held back or locked up in rooms and attics while attempting to make valiant stands and statements in support of their rights to artistic and intellectual expression, and social equality. These ideas are thoroughly supported and explored in Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s book, The Madwoman…