“The Raven”

Edgar Allan Poe's haunting classic poem is read by Hollywood legend Basil Rathbone.

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Halloween

American master of terror Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston in 1809 to professional actors who died when Poe was a child. He attended the University of Virginia, where he was a distinguished student and developed his lifelong taste for liquor. Afterward, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of sergeant major. He was expelled from West Point after a year, blighting his hopes of becoming a career officer.

Poe started publishing his poetry and stories in the early 1830s and pursued a career in journalism to ensure some sort of financial security. In 1843, he published several works, including “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Gold Bug,” which won a $100 prize in a contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. The story made Poe famous with the fiction-reading public. His poem “The Raven,” which appeared in the New York Evening Mirror in January 1845, was a critical and commercial success. “The Fall of the House Of Usher” (1839) and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841) are arguably two of his best short stories. But both Poe’s and his wife Virginia’s poor health kept the pair in financial and emotional distress. Poe died in 1849.

Along with “To Helen” and “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven” is considered one of Poe’s finest poems. Read by Basil Rathbone, one of Hollywood’s greatest screen actors, this recording of “The Raven” from Harper Audio’s The Edgar Allen Poe Collection describes the “stately” black bird that hauntingly repeats to his poet’s desperate questions: “Nevermore.”

(Corbis photo)

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>