Adaptation is the core concept around which my article revolves, as it explores the unusual implementation of Edgar Allan Poe, “master of the macabre,” in the American classroom despite, and at times even by reason of, his grim artistry and legacy. In the wake of exposition on the origins of the modern concept of the “juvenile” as well as the history of American compulsory educational laws, this article tracks the dissemination of Poe’s works in mid to late nineteenth-century adolescent textbooks and identifies the three main reasons why academic publishers initially adapted his poetry and prose for adolescents: for the general practice of reading, the art of elocution and speech delivery, and entertainment value.

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