The Mask of Red Death: An Edgar Allan Poe Mystery

The Mask of Red Death: An Edgar Allan Poe Mystery by Harold Schechter 0449007227 9780449007228
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ISBN: 0449007227

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Chapter One <BR>There are certain subjects in which the interest is all-absorbing. In our own country, stories of frontier captivity?of Western pioneers taken prisoner by the Indians?have always exerted a singular fascination. From the days of the earliest settlers, firsthand accounts by survivors of this harrowing ordeal have invariably been among the most popular of all our literary productions, as even a cursory glance at the shelves of any bookseller on Broadway will readily confirm. <BR>Not long ago (I am composing this in the summer of 1846), no fewer than five of these volumes were sent to me for review. In accordance with convention, each of these books featured an exceedingly sensational title, promising a tale of Extraordinary Hardship!?Unprecedented Adventure!?Uncommon Suffering!?and Remarkable Deliverance! Unsurprisingly, all five proved, upon perusal, to be entirely devoid of aesthetic value. And yet, in spite of their many egregious flaws, each became an immediate commercial success?a circumstance bound to be a source of the keenest vexation to any true literary artist whose own infinitely superior works have failed to receive the recognition (and remuneration) they deserve. <BR>What was it about these books?I was left to ponder?what was it that accounted for their inordinate appeal? The answer, I concluded, resides in a peculiarity of our nature that?however shameful to confess?is unquestionably as old as our species itself. I refer, of course

Author: Harold Schechter

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 320

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: 2005-07-26

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Harold Schechter