Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"In writing a story of this nature, Poe would have considered such historical examples as the Black Death or the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages as well as the cholera epidemics that ravaged Philadelphia in the 1790's and Baltimore in his own lifetime. However, in this story, the plague takes the unusual form of a red death rather than a black one so that blood, the very substance of life, now becomes the mark of death.
- By Martha Womack
Martha Womack, better known to Internet users as Precisely Poe, has a BA degree in English from Longwood College in Virginia, and teaches English and Theatre Arts at Fuqua School in Farmville, Virginia. When Martha first began teaching American literature, she found so much conflicting information about Edgar Allan Poe that she became confused about what to teach her students. As she began to research the author's life and literature, Martha discovered that a horrible injustice had occurred, and she became determined, like many others, "to set the record straight." "This mission" has lead to ten years of research and the creation of her web site, Precisely Poe. Martha is proud and pleased to be a part of the Poe Decoder, a continual project to dispel the myth surrounding Poe, the man and his literature.
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Illustration ©1997, R. Marshall Womack, III.
Printed publishing rights retained by the author, copyright pending. Internet publishing rights granted by the author to Christoffer Nilsson for use exclusively in Qrisse's Poe Pages. Any for-profit use of this material is expressly forbidden. Educational users and researchers must use proper documentation procedures, crediting both the publisher, Christoffer Nilsson and the author, Martha Womack.
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