According to even his most forgiving biographers, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49) was a difficult man. Arrested whilst touring Europe, and expelled from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he tended to lose both work and friends through drunkenness. Best known for his goriest stories, Poe is often presented to the modern reader as a writer of horror. However, this collection, published in 1852, offers a broader selection of his work. It includes one of his first pieces of detective fiction, 'The Gold-Beetle', resulting from his preoccupation with cryptography; 'A Descent into the Maelström', an early example of science fiction; the mesmeric verse of 'The Raven'; and some of his lesser-known love poetry. A pioneer of modern genre fiction, Poe remains important and influential in the American literary canon. This lavishly illustrated collection represents an excellent introduction to his work.