Clip | Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive - Learn about the fake news behind Edgar Allan Poe’s reputation

When Edgar Allan Poe died under mysterious circumstances, his literary rival, Rufus W. Griswold, wrote a high-profile obituary filled with falsehoods that cast him as a lunatic and a madman.


Major support for Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for this film is provided in part by National Endowment for the Arts, Joy Fishman, and Wallace S Wilson.

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When Edgar Allan Poe came to Baltimore he was famous, he was making money off of his lecture tours, he had found financial backing to establish his magazine which was his great dream, he was about to marry his childhood sweetheart, What is it?

No, no thank you. I will be on a train to New York; I have no need of a room.

and he died.

And who is it that gets the opportunity to announce to America that Poe has died?

His sometime-friend but also literary rival the Reverend Rufus W. Griswold who wrote the very first obituary of Poe.

Griswold succeeded in establishing the modern perception of Poe really as the same person as one of the characters in his stories - as someone who is mentally deranged, as someone who is homicidal, a drinking, drug-using, womanizing scoundrel.

That's an invention of Griswold. It's a complete fabrication. Who was the real Edgar Allan Poe? I feel like he slips further away from me the more I know about him.