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The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849 by Andrew Barger

Author:Andrew Barger

Language: eng

Format: epub

Tags: best ghost stories best ghost stories ever ghost stories scary stories classic ghost stories ghost anthology best ghost anthology best ghost tales ghost story anthology

Publisher: Andrew Barger

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The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849 by Andrew Barger

edgar allan poe

(1809-1849)

Introduction

 

##Sample Book

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The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849 by Andrew Barger

Author:Andrew Barger , Date: June 21, 2019

,Views: 21

Author:Andrew Barger

Language: eng

Format: epub

Tags: best ghost stories best ghost stories ever ghost stories scary stories classic ghost stories ghost anthology best ghost anthology best ghost tales ghost story anthology

Publisher: Andrew Barger
edgar allan poe

(1809-1849)

Introduction

The Mask of the Red Death

During the first half of the nineteenth century one man towered above all others in penning short horror stories. He wrote an amazing one third of the dozen tales selected for 6a66le: The Best Horror Short Stories 1800-1849, that were culled from over 300 considered for this period. He perfected the science fiction genre (see “[The Balloon Hoax],” “Mellonta Tauta,” “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall,” “A Descent Into the Maelstom” included in Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849), wrote the first cryptography short story (“The Gold-Bug”), and invented the closed room detective story (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”). And none of this takes into consideration the poems from America’s first great poet.

That man was Edgar Allan Poe. In the May 1842 issue of Graham’s Magazine he published his best ghost story “The Mask of the Red Death.”

Applicable to any modern age, the story tells of a disease ravaging the land—a disease with no cure. Here Poe calls it the Red Death in a play on the term Black Death that previously invaded Europe. This is the first instance I have found during the period in review of a spectre spreading disease or pestilence in a short story. Consider the many literary items and artifacts Poe placed in the text.

The seven differently colored rooms in the palace represent the seven stages of life, with the last being the black room, or death. Poe may have drawn on the famous lines from Act II. Sc. vii of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. As, first the infant, mewling and pewking in his nurse’s arms. And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school. And then the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then the soldier, full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice in fair round belly with good capon lined, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances; and so he plays his part. The sixth age slips into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side; his youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide for his shrunk shrank; and his manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

Life truly is a stage.

Here Prince Prospero (also the name of a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest) chases the figure who has returned from the grave. Note the first

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