‘Republicanism and the Masonic Imagination in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado”.’ Symbiosis 12.2 (October 2008)

Author: Collins, Michael

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Humanities-Ebooks ‘Reprint’, 2010. 20pages; PDF 258k; Permissions: printing allowed, copying disabled

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This essay was originally published in Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, Volume 12.2 (October 2008) 149–66

Topics and Keywords 

 

Republicanism, Freemasonry, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Cask of Amontillado’

 

Extract

 

“On January 31st 1844, nearly two years before the publication of ‘The Raven’ afforded him a small degree of fame and established his position as one of the foremost American poets of his generation, Edgar Allan Poe delivered a lecture on the state of American poetry to a fee-paying audience at the Odd Fellows’ Hall in Baltimore. The lecture took place at seven o’clock in the Egyptian Saloon and admission was a relatively sizable 25 cents per ticket. Whilst lectures had in the past offered Poe a significant and lucrative forum for galvanising interest in an area that had previously been treated with a degree of apathy within American culture, what is notable about this instance is the relationship it seems to suggest between fraternal ritualistic orders, some of which supported Poe considerably during his life-time, interest in native culture among ‘the emerging urban-industrial middle-class’ (Carnes 14), and literary working practices in Victorian America. Given the supposed secrecy of fraternal groups such as the Odd Fellows and their sensitivity to the invasion of sacred space by the non-initiated, the public nature of this lecture, which had received considerable prior notice in Baltimore newspapers, at first seems surprising.”

About the author

Michael Collins, University of Nottingham

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‘Republicanism and the Masonic Imagination in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado”.’ Symbiosis 12.2 (October 2008)

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