It is not surprising that the texts of Edgar Allan Poe, that most visual of literary artists, have inspired so many images and that such a wide array of illustrators has taken on the challenges of rendering his highly imaginative scenes on paper. With a map to decipher, a treasure chest to locate, bags of gold to haul away, and a Black servant to serve as (often racist) comic relief, “The Gold-Bug” (1843) has provided artists with a plethora of subjects, making it Poe’s most frequently illustrated text. Although “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), regarded as the first modern detective story, does not offer such a range of options, illustrators have nevertheless emphasized its various aspects. Many of them have chosen not to portray the protagonist C. Auguste Dupin at all, while others have come up with creative ways to represent his mental powers and/or to associate him with vigorous action. No doubt Poe, with his detailed knowledge of and strong opinions about illustrations, would have approved of such inventiveness.

You do not currently have access to this content.