Fri, 1 September 2017
Journey through the history of mystery with Edgar Allan Poe and Jack London, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.
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Today, we’re going to take a bit of a journey. Edgar Allan Poe is widely acknowledged as being the one who invented the armchair detective/mystery genre. The Gold Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and today’s story of The Purloined Letter are among his great achievements in creating a genre which others went on to perfect. Though The Purloined Letter isn’t the first of his mystery creations, you can still see how Poe is still feeling out how to explain how he arrived at his conclusions. It’s not perfect. But it’s an interesting window into the mind of how the mystery genre was created. The Purloined Letter was first published in 1844. Nearly 60 years later, in 1903, Jack London wrote our second tale, The Leopard Man’s Story. Notice how far the genre has come. London had the likes of Doyle, Chesterton, Collins and many others to learn from. But the way he introduces his story, cultivates it, and delivers the solution to the mystery is nothing short of elegant. I hope you enjoy this journey through the history of mystery.