Edgar Allan Poe’s Reynolds: And Therein Hangs a Tale

The truth is there are days when the world changes and a man does not notice because his mind is on his own affairs.

There are some writers whose life is as (if not more) interesting as the texts they wrote. Edgar Allan Poe is one such.

On the 26th of September 1849, Poe was in Richmond, delivering lectures that had been well received. He was also, ostensibly, in high spirits. He was supposed to sail for Baltimore, a journey that would have taken some 25 hours. But Poe reached Baltimore a week later, in great distress and unable to speak. He was taken to the Washington College hospital. The doctor there later testified that Poe had kept on calling for one ‘Reynolds’ before giving up the struggle. He was only 40 at the time of his death.

According to author, Andrew Taylor, this Reynolds was actually Thomas Reynolds, young Edgar’s school-master in England where he stayed between the ages of six and eleven with his adoptive parents, the Allans. Thru the adventures of Reynolds, Taylor draws a compulsive picture of late Regency England. But what was it that Reynolds told his former ward, meeting him years later in America? A secret so devastating that it destroyed Poe’s equilibrium and sent him to an early grave! Well, read the book to find out… 🙂

First Line: We owe respect to the living, Voltaire tells us in his Premiere Lettre sur Oedipe, but to the dead we owe only truth.

Title: The American Boy

Author: Andrew Taylor

Publication Details: London: Harper Perennial, 2008

First Published: 2003

Pages: 485 + 13


Book(s) with similar theme(s)


The book can be ordered on the Net. I borrowed it from Delhi Public Library, Vinoba Puri [ N TAY]


Submitted for the following challenges:

Borrowed Book

Mystery and Suspense


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