Edgar Allan Poe notoriously identified “the death . . . of a beautiful woman” as “the most poetical topic in the world.” Despite this cringeworthy claim, it is widely known that Poe drew creative inspiration from female authors and that women figure prominently among the artists and critics fascinated by the writer’s creative legacy. Filling a major gap in scholarship on Poe, this volume investigates the varied ways that women have influenced perceptions of Poe through biography, criticism, editorial work, and creative adaptation. Covering a timeframe from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Poe and Women addresses a range of topics, including accounts of Poe written by female contemporaries, the scholarly efforts of women in establishing Poe’s worldwide reputation, and the revision of antebellum gender constructs in popular adaptations of Poe’s work. This collection will appeal not only to Poe specialists but also to anyone interested in the writer’s ongoing relevance to gender discussions inside and outside the academy.
Amy Branam Armiento is professor of English at Frostburg State University.
Travis Montgomery is associate professor of English at Oklahoma Christian University.
Amy Branam Armiento and Travis Montgomery
Part I: Recognition
Amy Branam Armiento
Part II: Revision
John Edward Martin
Melanie R. Anderson
Afterword: Maureen Cobb Mabbott and The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe
It’s long been recognized that the spirited female characters of Poe’s imagination could not stay buried, no matter how poetical their deaths might be. But this fascinating volume charts new territory by enabling recognition of the actual women who championed, confronted, and adapted Poe's work – including biographers who defended it, scholars who interpreted it in new ways, and storytellers who continue to trace the subversive power of Poe’s heroines in film and other media.
Poe and Women is a fascinating exploration of over a century of women artists, editors, translators, and scholars dedicated to and inspired by Poe. Written in a readable style and beautifully edited, Poe and Women is a valuable resource on women’s creative and intellectual responses to Poe’s life and work.