Counting Down to Halloween with Edgar Allan Poe, Day 11: The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart by Harry Clarke, circa 1919

The Tell-Tale Heart by Harry Clarke. From Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe, 1919.

“True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?”-The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe

8 thoughts on “Counting Down to Halloween with Edgar Allan Poe, Day 11: The Tell-Tale Heart

      • I got a little frightened just looking at that guy. He looked like he was doing something unspeakable to a dead person. Illustrations really do have the power to make us stare at them, especially a child.

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      • This is probably my favourite of all of Clarke’s Poe illustrations. I have a copy of a newer reprint of Tales of Mystery and Imagination with Clarke’s illustrations, and every one is just divine. It is definitely enough to startle small children, as is Poe’s writing. Of course that didn’t stop me from enjoying them when I was young. Clarke was a wonderful artist, including in the medium of stained glass.

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      • Isn’t it interesting that illustrators did not hold back on frightening images in children’s books back in the day? It is almost as if we are trying to eradicate the delight of fear in reading a story. I enjoyed “The Count of Monte Christo” and “Hansel and Gretel” and other fearful stories and was not marked for life. Wasn’t the “Cask of Amontillado” another fearful story? They were amazing stories and introduced another genre of literature to us.

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      • They certainly did not hold back, but then children in previous centuries were not as hidden from the “horrors” and realities of life as they are today. Death and disease were accepted as ever present facts of the human condition. I read some of the Greek tragedies for the first time when I was seven, and I was just fine afterward! I was allowed to read as I pleased, and it made me a more interesting and well-rounded person.

        It is funny that you mention that particular Poe story, as it is part of this countdown!

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