Tag Archives: Edgar Allan Poe

Three Great Literary Authors

By Philip Rudy

Literature can stimulate your mind and help you think a more clearly through the day. There is a direct relationship between your learning curve and reading. Reading helps you stay focused, keep your analytic skills sharp, and explode the door open for creativity.

Literature is tough however, and it is hard to make a living off of your writing. For example, did you know that the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling, lived in her vehicle while she wrote those books and was rejected by a plethora of publishers before finally accepted?

Here is a list of some of the top people in literature that ever existed—these people have changed many lives.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts and was baptized in the Episcopal Church but moved to Britain with his family. He later traveled back to the U.S.A. to serve in the military, which he eventually left to attend the University of Virginia to study languages. In 1827 he published his first book.  In 1833 he was awarded a prize by Baltimore Saturday Visiter for his short story “Ms. Found in a Bottle.” He served many terms in the military throughout the years but was discharged in 1829. In 1830 however, he matriculated as a cadet. His wife died in 1847 and he died in Baltimore, Maryland in 1849.

Here is a small list of some of his most famous books:

  • Hop-Frog
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
  • The Black Cat
  • The Murders in Rue Morgue
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Raven

Anne Frank

Although some might think of Anne Frank and not automatically associate her as one of the great persons in literature, her diary has traveled many places and touched many lives. She was born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany and in 1942 her family went into hiding in a secret annex. On her 13th birthday, Anne got the best gift she could have ever gotten—her diary. She wrote in it for the next 2 years and her last diary entry was on August 1, 1944. (The Frank Family was arrested prior to that from their hideout in the Archterhuis in 1944). An American edition of the Anne Frank diary was published in 1952.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was greatly regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period (correlating to the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901). He excelled at creating fictitious characters and in fact, his biographer Claire Tomalin claims Dickens is the best character creator of all time behind only one man— William Shakespeare. One of his best known books, David Copperfield, actually was his “most autobiographical” piece. In it tells the story of a young boy whose father died and was sent off to boarding school when his cruel stepfather took his place.

Dickens was also a leader in social reform and fought for children’s rights. Some of his most famous pieces include:

  • The Adventures of Oliver Twist
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Great Expectations
  • David Copperfield

Philip Rudy is a blogger for a law firm in Southfield, MI. In his spare time Philip loves reading and is a big fan of the three people mentioned in this article. He one day hopes to write a book of his own.

Changing Lives Through Literature Project: Literature Transforms You

Press Release—Dartmouth, MA

Watch this dramatic rendering of one scene from Edgar Allan Poe’s A Tell-Tale Heart.

Exposing the public to classic literature

The Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) program has launched a literature project called Literature Transforms You. The project highlights notable works of literature by creating videos marketed on YouTube. The objective is to expose the public to classic pieces of literature and to renew the public’s interest in reading.

“There are so many great works of Literature that people have not been exposed to. Creating a video dramatizes the experience of reading a novel. CLTL is much more than an alternative sentencing program that helps rehabilitate criminal offenders,” explains the project’s Director of Communication, JoAnne Breault. “It inspires people to read and learn—ultimately promoting literacy.”

Using social media to promote literature

Ms. Breault further states that utilizing YouTube is part of a campaign to harness social media for this literature project.

First Poe, then Shakespeare

The first video features David Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services at the Fall River (MA) Public Library. Mr. Mello dramatically acts out a scene from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, A Tell-Tale Heart.

Ms. Breault’s next mission is to highlight a work of William Shakespeare. “The first time you are assigned to read Shakespeare, there is a sense of apprehension. Once you start reading his words, they are so fluid and melodious; you forget that you are reading old English,” says Ms. Breault.

Children’s books to rival television and video games

Another video will feature a children’s story. “Children are bombarded with violent video games and senseless television. Reading books engages a child’s mind and inspires imagination,” says Ms. Breault.

Seeking volunteer readers and actors

Ms. Breault is seeking volunteers to read captions from their favorite novels and seeking potential actors and actresses to dramatize the scenes. She will perform all of the videography and editing to get the project posted on YouTube.

For more information, e-mail JoAnne Breault at u_jbreault@umassd.edu.

Editor’s Update

David Mello, the spell-binding Tell-Tale Heart narrator in the first Literature Transforms You video, is featured in a Fall River Herald News article by Marc Munroe Dion. The article discusses Mello’s gallery-displayed mask collection which includes a haunting mask of author Edgar Allan Poe. Read the full article.