Reading Group: Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Detection

Date / Time

  • July 15, 2017
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • July 22, 2017
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • July 29, 2017
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States



Poe was called the “father of the detective story” by none other than Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Led by Edward G. Pettit, this Reading Group will explore Poe’s groundbreaking mystery detective tales featuring his mastermind sleuth (and Sherlock’s spiritual predecessor), C. Auguste Dupin.

For the first time, readers can register for this reading group on a class-by-class basis. Sign up for one session, or all three! Each group will meet at a different location to explore Poe literature and history:

July 15: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Man of the Crowd.” Location: Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

July 22: “The Mystery of Marie Roget” and “The Purloined Letter.” Location: the Rosenbach.

July 29: “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Location: Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.


Any edition of Poe’s tales is acceptable to use for the course. There will also be supplementary readings and handouts which the instructor will provide.

About the Instructor

Philadelphia writer, Philly Poe Guy, and all-around literary provocateur Edward G. Pettit is the Manager of Public Programs at the Rosenbach. He was a featured commentator in an episode of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, which focused on life in the city in the 1840s. In 2012, he was the Charles Dickens Ambassador for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Dickens Bicentenary celebrations and also wrote a Dickensian mystery play for the Ebenzer Maxwell Mansion, where he performed an annual Dickens reading.

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