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1 Hawthorne Crime- General

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

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The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder Cover

ISBN13: 9780525949817
ISBN10: 052594981x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gruesome murder, a stunned city, and Edgar Allan Poe come to life with vivid detail in this shocking true story.

On July 28, 1841, the battered body of a young woman was found floating in the Hudson River. It was soon discovered to be the lovely Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar salesgirl who had gone missing three days earlier. By nightfall, news of the girl's death had spread and sent Manhattan into a spasm of horror and outrage.

In the months that followed, the gruesome details of the murder pushed American journalism into previously unimagined realms of lurid sensationalism. But despite media pressures, New York City's unregulated and disjointed police force proved unable to mount an effective investigation, and the crime remained unsolved.

A year after Mary Rogers was murdered, as public interest in the case began to wane, a struggling writer named Edgar Allan Poe decided to take on the case. At the time of the murder, thirty-one-year-old Poe had recently published his groundbreaking detective story The Murders in the Rue Morgue. A year later, however, his fortunes had taken a downward turn. Desperate for success, Poe sent his famous detective, C. Auguste Dupin, on the case of a lifetime: to solve the baffling murder of Mary Rogers in The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.

In The Beautiful Cigar Girl, Edgar Award-winning author Daniel Stashower deftly captures the drama and mystery of New York in the mid-nineteenth century, illuminating the spellbinding crime that transformed a city.

Review:

"The author of Edgar winner Teller of Tales now recounts the story of Manhattan tobacco store clerk Mary Rogers, a mysterious beauty whose posse of admirers made her a minor celebrity in 1841 in various newspapers' society pages. The discovery that year of her mutilated corpse fueled a public outcry and a newspaper circulation war, as well as a fictional magazine serial by Edgar Allan Poe featuring his famous detective Dupin speculating on the murder of working-class Parisian 'Marie Rogt.' Poe rightly deduced that Mary wasn't a victim of the gang violence that plagued New York City in the absence of an effective police presence. But he came late to the accepted theory that Mary had died of a botched abortion and had to tweak his final installment to maintain his and Dupin's reputations. Although Stashower's account bogs down in comparisons of Poe's revisions of the Rogt manuscript, it's a generally absorbing account of the birth of the modern detective story. The sordid details of Mary Rogers's stunted life pale in comparison with Poe's own love-starved childhood, self-destructive tidal wave of alcoholism, poverty and rants against publishers and rivals; Poe's genius and literary legacy are hauntingly drawn here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The death of Mary Rogers remains one of the great unsolved murders in American history. The bruised and beaten body of the 20-year-old woman was discovered in the Hudson River along the Hoboken, N.J., shoreline on July 28, 1841. A cord wrapped around her throat, her torn clothing, and marks resembling a man's thumb on her neck convinced authorities that she was the victim of a violent assault. Within... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[An] intriguing story, one that sheds considerable light on the snares of a big city for a young woman." Booklist

Review:

"[L]iterary buffs in particular will enjoy this wonderful backstory to the creation of Poe's sequel to The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Library Journal

Review:

"Stashower knows murder, and he knows the craft of biography." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Stashower has taken an interesting historical event in and of itself and used it as a lens to focus on so many of the recurrent themes in Poe's life....This well-written book will please fans of murder mysteries in general as well as those of Edgar Allan Poe." Providence Journal

Review:

"Mr. Stashower, deftly interweaving contemporary press accounts of the murder and the investigation into his narrative, vividly recreates the atmosphere of the period in a moody, sepia-toned style..." William Grimes, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Well-crafted and suspenseful....Daniel Stashower is a diddler. And in The Beautiful Cigar Girl he makes murder a beguilingly edifying and entertaining subject." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Poe's audaciousness is at the heart of Stashower's engrossing book....Stashower turns some lovely phrases and unearths fascinating details..." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Stashower artfully weaves together a portrait of a self-immolating literary genius with the story of the beautiful, melancholy murder victim....Eminently readable and thick with research, The Beautiful Cigar Girl draws a rich portrait of mid-19th-century Manhattan..." The Boston Globe

Book News Annotation:

Stashower (mystery writer and Edgar Award-winning biographer of Arthur Conan Doyle) tells the sensational real-life story of the 1841 murder of Mary Rogers, New York City's "beautiful cigar girl"--along with the real-life story of how Edgar Allen Poe transformed the crime into the short story that would invent modern detective fiction and that he hoped would turn his failing career around. During the decline of his wife's health and particular personal hardship, Poe expanded his character C. Auguste Dupin's passion and talent for deductive reasoning to compose the longer-than-usual "The Mystery of Mary Rogt," debuting the formula that would find its literary legacy in Sherlock Holmes and others. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Readers who flocked to Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City will love Stashower's true story of murder and media mania — including the controversial involvement of Edgar Allan Poe — in 1840s New York. Halftones throughout.

Synopsis:

Daniel Stashower, the Edgar Award-winning author of the highly acclaimed Arthur Conan Doyle biography Teller of Tales, delivers a gripping true story of murder and media mania — including the controversial involvement of Edgar Allan Poe — in 1840s New York. Halftone photos throughout.

About the Author

Daniel Stashower is the author of four mystery novels and a winner of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Susan Dawson, October 27, 2006 (view all comments by Susan Dawson)
Why are so many authors writing novels about Edgar A. Poe today? It seems to me that there are plenty of modern day murders which can be fictionalized. Do writers fear lawsuits? Certainly Poe cannot come back from the grave to instigate a suit.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 23 readers found this comment helpful)
bookends, October 21, 2006 (view all comments by bookends)
A beautiful girl murdered. A city in panic. No leads in the case, untl Edgar Allan Poe decides to look into the case. A marvelous detective story!
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(29 of 32 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525949817
Subtitle:
Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder
Author:
Stashower, Daniel
Publisher:
Dutton Adult
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
History
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Mystery & Detective Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20061005
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 8 up to AND UP
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.28x6.56x1.07 in. 1.16 lbs.
Age Level:
from 14 up to AND UP

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Crime » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525949817 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The author of Edgar winner Teller of Tales now recounts the story of Manhattan tobacco store clerk Mary Rogers, a mysterious beauty whose posse of admirers made her a minor celebrity in 1841 in various newspapers' society pages. The discovery that year of her mutilated corpse fueled a public outcry and a newspaper circulation war, as well as a fictional magazine serial by Edgar Allan Poe featuring his famous detective Dupin speculating on the murder of working-class Parisian 'Marie Rogt.' Poe rightly deduced that Mary wasn't a victim of the gang violence that plagued New York City in the absence of an effective police presence. But he came late to the accepted theory that Mary had died of a botched abortion and had to tweak his final installment to maintain his and Dupin's reputations. Although Stashower's account bogs down in comparisons of Poe's revisions of the Rogt manuscript, it's a generally absorbing account of the birth of the modern detective story. The sordid details of Mary Rogers's stunted life pale in comparison with Poe's own love-starved childhood, self-destructive tidal wave of alcoholism, poverty and rants against publishers and rivals; Poe's genius and literary legacy are hauntingly drawn here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[An] intriguing story, one that sheds considerable light on the snares of a big city for a young woman."
"Review" by , "[L]iterary buffs in particular will enjoy this wonderful backstory to the creation of Poe's sequel to The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
"Review" by , "Stashower knows murder, and he knows the craft of biography."
"Review" by , "Stashower has taken an interesting historical event in and of itself and used it as a lens to focus on so many of the recurrent themes in Poe's life....This well-written book will please fans of murder mysteries in general as well as those of Edgar Allan Poe."
"Review" by , "Mr. Stashower, deftly interweaving contemporary press accounts of the murder and the investigation into his narrative, vividly recreates the atmosphere of the period in a moody, sepia-toned style..."
"Review" by , "Well-crafted and suspenseful....Daniel Stashower is a diddler. And in The Beautiful Cigar Girl he makes murder a beguilingly edifying and entertaining subject."
"Review" by , "Poe's audaciousness is at the heart of Stashower's engrossing book....Stashower turns some lovely phrases and unearths fascinating details..."
"Review" by , "Stashower artfully weaves together a portrait of a self-immolating literary genius with the story of the beautiful, melancholy murder victim....Eminently readable and thick with research, The Beautiful Cigar Girl draws a rich portrait of mid-19th-century Manhattan..."
"Synopsis" by , Readers who flocked to Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City will love Stashower's true story of murder and media mania — including the controversial involvement of Edgar Allan Poe — in 1840s New York. Halftones throughout.
"Synopsis" by , Daniel Stashower, the Edgar Award-winning author of the highly acclaimed Arthur Conan Doyle biography Teller of Tales, delivers a gripping true story of murder and media mania — including the controversial involvement of Edgar Allan Poe — in 1840s New York. Halftone photos throughout.
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