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In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe

In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe, October 2015
by Leslie S. Klinger

ISBN: 1605988758
EAN: 9781605988757
Kindle: B00VXPW6NU
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Excellent collection of classic horror tales"

Fresh Fiction Review

In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe
Leslie S. Klinger

Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted February 17, 2016


I love a good, classic horror tale, one that will send shivers down my spine without reveling in the gore that is found in so much of the horror stories nowadays. IN THE SHADOW OF EDGAR ALLAN POE offers readers an excellent collection of twenty stories all published between the years of 1816 and 1914. The editor, Leslie S. Klinger, provides readers with numerous footnotes to help the modern reader understand some of the more obscure words and phrases used by the authors. There are far too many stories to touch on each one, but I want to highlight a few that stood out to me.

I had read several of the authors featured by Leslie S. Klinger, but had only previously read one story, THE YELLOW WALLPAPER by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. Oddly enough, I liked THE YELLOW WALLPAPER much better upon my second reading of the story. The story features a woman suffering from a nervous breakdown who becomes fixated on the wallpaper in her bedroom. I think I liked THE YELLOW WALLPAPER so much better this time due to Leslie S. Klinger thoughtfully providing the short essay from Charlotte Perkins Gilman on why she wrote the story. The essay provides a much better historical perspective on THE YELLOW WALLPAPER and the story is easily one of my favorites in the anthology.

Somehow I have managed to miss out on reading Kate Chopin, but if DESIREE'S BABY is any indication of her work, this is an oversight I will have to correct soon! Armand Aubigny falls in love with Desiree and they soon marry and have a baby. I don't want to say more for fear of spoiling the story for others, but wow, I am still blown away by the powerful message this story sends!

As with any anthology, IN THE SHADOW OF EDGAR ALLAN POE had several stories I wasn't wild over. THE SAND-MAN by Ernst T. W. Hoffmann opens up the anthology and actually put me off reading it several times as it just bored me and seemed overly long. I finally had to skip without finishing a later story, A TRAGEDY OF BONES by George MacDonald, because it seemed like I was thrown in the middle of a story without any explanation of how or why. A TRAGEDY OF BONES is probably the only misstep Leslie S. Klinger makes as it is chapter 17 of a book and needs a bit more context to be enjoyable in my opinion.

IN THE SHADOW OF EDGAR ALLAN POE offers readers a solid collection of classic horror tales, from the ghostly to the macabre. Most of the stories are quite enjoyable, and I could continue to enumerate the stories I enjoyed, such as THE SPIDER by Hanns Heinz Ewers and THE WOMAN WITH THE HOOD by L.T. Meade, with only a couple stories that weren't as appealing to my tastes. There's a little bit of something for all horror fans IN THE SHADOW OF EDGAR ALLAN POE.

Learn more about In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe


A masterful collection of horror fiction by widely acclaimed authors whose contributions to the genre have been lost in the shadow of Poe, by one of America's foremost anthologists. Edgar Allan Poe did not invent the tale of terror. There were American, English, and Continental writers who preceded Poe and influenced his work. Similarly, there were many who were in turn influenced by Poe’s genius and produced their own popular tales of supernatural literature. This collection features masterful tales of terror by authors who, by and large, are little-remembered for their writing in this genre. Even Bram Stoker, whose Dracula may be said to be the most popular horror novel of all time, is not known as a writer of short fiction.

Distinguished editor Leslie S. Klinger is a world-renowned authority on those twin icons of the Victorian age, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula. His studies into the forefathers of those giants led him to a broader fascination with writers of supernatural literature of the nineteenth century. The stories in this collection have been selected by him for their impact. Each is preceded by a brief biography of the author and an overview of his or her literary career and is annotated to explain obscure references.

Read on, now, perhaps with a flickering candle or flashlight at hand . . .

Stories by: Ambrose Bierce, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Theodor Gautier, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lafcadio Hearn, M. R. James, Bram Stoker, and many others.

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