Rufus Wilmot Griswold
On the day of Poe's funeral, Griswold published an anonymous letter that praised Poe's work but abused his character. He continued this character assassination in a subsequent thirty-five page "memoir" that was filled with malice, lies and outright forgeries. Many people were reluctant to question the dark portrait that Griswold painted because he was well-known in literary circles as an anthologist and a critic. The images of Poe as an alcoholic, a drug addict, a pervert and even a lunatic can be attributed to the words of Griswold which provided the only complete biography of the author's life for almost thirty years. The life of Edgar Allan Poe became the subject of a fantasy that equaled the fantasies of his fiction.