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Edgar Allan Poe As Scientist?

Credit: Author
Credit: Author
Credit: Author

It’s not hard to imagine Edgar Allan Poe as obsessive. Consider his passionate poetry, his tales of horror barely tapping reality --not to mention his personal life: his ardent marriage to his cousin and his baffling death on the streets of Baltimore. But manic about SCIENCE?

In his new biography, The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science, historian John Tresch shows us a Poe who led his class at West Point in engineering and math, wrote about scientific discoveries and plunged into debates about evolution and the origin of the universe -- in an age when the line between science and quackery was a blur.

Links to virtual events: Harvard Bookstore June 18, Fountain Bookstore June 23, Ivy Bookshop June 29.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'