Transatlantic Doubles: Intertextual Ageing in the Early Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Bulwer-Lytton
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As a literary critic, Edgar Allan Poe reviewed the writings of the Victorian man of letters Edward Bulwer-Lytton on at least four occasions in the span of six years, from 1835 to 1841. Even if both authors came from signi cantly different backgrounds, as Poe was of humble origins and Bulwer-Lytton was an English aristocrat, the reversal of fortune, together with their respective personal and parental circumstances, turned them into transatlantic literary doubles, since their ction often presents considerable intertextual links. Bulwer-Lytton’s novella Falkland (1827) and Poe’s classical tale “The Assignation” (1832) are rooted in a Byronic myth, depicting a love triangle which particularly echoes both authors’ respective parental circumstances. This article aims at providing a comparative analysis of these works, interpreting them from a biographical perspective in order to shed light on both authors’ early ction as well as understanding the role that their respective family background played on their literary creativity and ageing at such an early stage of their career.