Set in 19th century London (in the main), this novel mixes historical fiction with biography to suggest a backstory for Edgar Allen Poe (the boy of the book’s title), his childhood in England and parentage.
Told by his schoolmaster and one-time soldier Thomas Shield, the story covers mystery and murder, love, lust and lechery, financial scandal and social ruin. There’s the high society balls and dinner parties of the country elite, the honest poor making ends meet in London’s labyrinthine tenements and the ne’er-do-wells of both worlds.
It’s not an easy read, but ultimately it is a worthwhile one.
Amazon.co.uk: The American Boy – Andrew Taylor