BBC 7: Scots Gothic – the influence of Scotland on Edgar Allan Poe

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BBC Radio 7 - BBC7If you love Edgar Allan Poe (and really who doesn’t?) you’ll want to get your mitts on today’s BBC 7 documentary!

Scots Gothic – A Portrait Of Edgar Allan Poe In Ayrshire
1 Broadcast – Approx. 30 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: June 27th 2008 @ 9am and 7pm
Billy Kay investigates the impact of Scotland and its culture on the great American author Edgar Allan Poe. As a boy, Poe made an extended visit to Ayrshire in the company of his Scots-born foster father – where the vivid local folklore, bodysnatching stories and school task of recording graveyard epitaphs are all believed to have influenced the development of Poe’s dark imagination. Local historians discuss this world of “Scots Gothic”, with readings from John Buick and Keith Fleming.

It’s already in the “Listen Again” section! Go check it out!

Posted by Jesse Willis

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4 thoughts to “BBC 7: Scots Gothic – the influence of Scotland on Edgar Allan Poe”

  1. I enjoyed the program. Although some of the conclusions regarding influences on young Eddie were a bit far reaching I think this neglected part of Eddie’s life should be more accessible to American Poe fans.

    I applaud the producers of this program and I intend to circulate the program to as many people as I can who might enjoy this program.

    Many cities in the United States are now claiming Poe’s legacy and I think it’s fitting that Scotland enter the fray.

    Baltimore’s tribute to Poe begain in the early 1860’s but the American Civil War delayed the renewed interest in Poe until the early 1870’s. Since that time Baltimore has been the only American city that has continued to celebrate Poe to the present time. Sure, other cities have Poe museums and homes but continued appreciation has been quite lacking in these cities.

    I would love to visit Scotland see the area where young Eddie lived and went to school.

    Kudo’s again to the people responsible for this program.

    Please visit and to see what Baltimore has done and will be doing for the rest of 2009.

  2. I am the single source of the information for that, and anything else to do with insight and knowledge of Edgar Allan Poe’s Scottish Connections. I give papers at international conferences on American and British Literatrue becasue “Americans can’t handle it.” Billy Kay simple interviewed me in San Diego for his production. Other people, and so on, have taken my informationm, freely availalbe at my site, and not made the connection of my work as their source. The Poe Family of America are especially offended by my work because they do not want to think of themselves as Scottish. I do not blame them! As a German-American independent scholar of Poe, I have no interest whatsoever in other’s opinions of my work.

  3. I do not think that Poe’s lineage has any bearing at all in regard to his literary legacy. He was a great and innovative American writer and poet. Although I am sure that he was influenced by other writers of his day both in America and from Europe he nevertheless produced his works from a unique and very American perspective.

  4. Our research and opinions of Poe’s Scottish Connections are, as the write above sated, “far reaching.” I have 900 pages of text, exhibits, citations, and notes which fully document our findings. Poe’s ancestry (“lineage”) had everything to do with his evolution as a poet. Both Robert Burns and John Galt were relatives, through John Allan. However, in a few web pages and local newspapers, etc., nothing of substance can be developed. the book is in progress (for 12 years). the BBC Scotland Radio broadcast of Billy Key’s production is the third. the first two did not cite me by name as the source. I appreciate this page connection with the internet, and a google search of my name, of which someone informed me. the spelling errors in my comments above are a consequence of dyslexia.

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