The Fall of the House of Usher Criticism

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While Poe's works were not widely acclaimed during his lifetime, he did earn respect as a gifted fiction writer and poet, especially after the publication of his poem "The Raven." After his death, however, the history of his critical reception becomes one of dramatically uneven judgements and interpretations. This was, in part, the fault of Poe's one-time friend and literary executor R. W. Griswold, who, in an obituary notice bearing the byline "Lud-wig," attributed the depravity and psychological peculiarities of many of the characters in Poe's fiction to Poe himself. In retrospect, Griswold's insults seem to have elicited as much sympathy as censure, leading subsequent biographers of the late nineteenth century to defend, sometimes avidly, Poe's name.

It was not until the 1941 biography by A. H. Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Autobiography, that a balanced view was provided of Poe, his work, and the relationship between the...

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This section contains 452 words
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