KAREN LEE STREET
FURTHER RESOURCES AND READING
The list of resources I consulted is lengthy, but a few that might interest readers are as follows:
John Ashton, Old Times: A Picture of Social Life at the End of the Eighteenth Century (London: J. C. Nimmo, 1885)
I came across the tale of the London Monster in this book while researching background material for a story that will now be included in my sequel: Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru. Ashton's jocular tone when recounting the Monster's crimes and the amusing illustrations probably influenced my somewhat unusual perpetrators. His account certainly made me research the London Monster further, which led me to Jan Bondeson's wonderful book:
Jan Bondeson, The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale (London: Free Association Books, 2000)
Bondeson has written some fascinating books about odd aspects of history and his book on the Monster is a very enjoyable read.
Much misinformation about Edgar Allan Poe's character and life has been published, Rufus Wilmot Griswold's biography and obituary for Poe being perhaps the most notorious. Poe himself enjoyed being creative with the facts of his life -- even biographical notes about Poe written by his admirer Charles Baudelaire include factual inaccuracies due to misinformation Poe himself provided. Two very accessible Poe biographies are:
Jeffrey Meyers, Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy (London: John Murray, 1992)
Peter Ackroyd, Poe: A Life Cut Short (London: Chatto & Windus, 2008)
A wealth of information is available at the excellent website of the Edgar Allan Poe Society: www.eapoe.org
It includes a comprehensive collection of E-texts; a good deal of Poe correspondence which is fascinating; and other biographies written over the years.
The accounts of the London Monster trials are fascinating and can be found at:
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court, 1674 to 1913 [See: Old Bailey Proceedings,
8 July 1790 and 13 December 1790.] These should be read after the novel as they include major spoilers!
I also thoroughly enjoyed the 'field research' undertaken for the novel and am appreciative for the enthusiastic expertise of staff at the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia; the catacombs of All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green, London; and the Philadelphia Free Library, which holds the Colonel Richard A. Gimbel collection of Edgar Allan Poe materials, including Charles Dickens’s pet raven, Grip. All are worth a visit.