Fear of imminent deathBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7408.200 (Published 24 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:200
- Richard Hurley, technical editor
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-49) shifted the boundaries of fiction in the genres of detective stories, science fiction, and tales of horror. Death—especially fear of it—is a recurring theme in Poe's work. This fascination may result from Poe's own losses: his parents died before he was 3 years old. Poe married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia, in 1836; she died at the age of 24.
Poe wrote The Masque of the Red Death while Virginia was sick with tuberculosis. …