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Ligeia (pub. in the American Museum, September 1838; included in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 1840).

a tale by <IR> EDGAR ALLAN POE </IR> . Poe reverts to a theme he treated in <IR> MORELLA </IR> (1835)--metempsychosis and the return of a dead wife from the grave. But his treatment of the theme in Ligeia is much more convincing. This was Poe's favorite of his stories, and it has always been highly regarded by critics. Ligeia, married to the man who tells her story and is deeply devoted to her, dies after a wasting illness despite her strong desire to live. The man goes to England and remarries, but with no love for his new wife, and she too dies. But as she lies in the coffin, she suddenly comes back to life--and her husband recognizes her as Ligeia. The poem <IR> THE CONQUEROR WORM </IR> was written in 1843 and added to Ligeia in 1845. Poe may have taken the name Ligeia from Ligea, in classic mythology one of the three Sirens.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Previous Article:Life Without Principle.
Next Article:Lighthall, William Douw (1857-1954).

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