Friday, November 14, 2014

Did Edgar Allan Poe Have a Favorite Play?

Nathaniel Parker Willis

Edgar Allan Poe spent time in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. All of those cities were showing plays by American dramatists. Poe's parents were theatre actors in Boston and both died while Poe and his brother Henry and sister Rosalie were young.

When in Philadelphia in 1839, Poe saw "Tortesa; or, The Usurer Unmatched," which Nathaniel Parker Willis wrote. Poe called it "the best play by an American author." Poe was, however, only 20 at the time at and was perhaps trying to gain favor with Willis, a well-known editor. He would go on to help Poe and was one of his biggest supporters.

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