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Move over Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer -- Edgar Allan Poe sets auction records

At a time when best seller lists are dominated by Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer, it's nice to see an old master -- someone who helped define their genres -- get some respect. Edgar Allan Poe is widely credited with creating the detective story, and as everyone knows, was also a master of the supernatural. Yesterday, his genius was recognized at a Christie's auction in New York, when a rare 1827 edition of poetry sold for $662,500, a record for a 19th century book of poetry. Even more surprising, two-pages of hand-scrawled verses from 1849 netted $830,500, breaking the 19th century literary manuscript record. (It was the first eight stanzas of "For Annie," written for a passing love, Nancy L. Richmond.) Neither buyer was identified.

Not bad for an ex-Baltimorean who died disoriented, near-penniless and little noticed in a hospital on the city's east side. (Think I'm kidding? Here's all his death merited in The Baltimore Sun.) Somewhere, I hope he's smiling.

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