“No Direction Home”: The Itinerant Life of Edgar Poe

  • Scott Peeples
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)


This chapter takes a broad view of Poe places. While it has never been adequately foregrounded by biographers, Poe’s itinerancy might well be the key to understanding his tumultuous life and, to a great extent, his work. In childhood and adolescence, Poe had little or no choice in the matter of relocations; as an adult, he was motivated primarily by poverty, literary ambition, and concern for his wife’s health. Drawing on geographer Yi-Fu Tuan’s axes of “cosmos” and “hearth,” this chapter posits Poe as a cosmopolitan less by choice than by lifelong circumstance. Not surprisingly, then, Poe’s tales, when they depict “home” at all, often counter Antebellum ideals of domestic tranquillity.


Edgar Allan Poe Itinerancy Biography Home Cosmopolitan 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Peeples
    • 1
  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations