America's most influential literary figure world-wide is familiar to most readers of short fiction through only about a dozen stories. This is because many of Poe's tales depend on knowledge a reader in 1835 or 1845 might have had that a typical reader in 2000 would not. In this extensively annotated and meticulously edited selection of Poe's short fiction, Stuart Levine and Susan Levine connect Poe to major literary forces of his era and to the rapidly changing US of the 1830s and 1840s, discussing Shelley, Carlyle, Byron, Emerson, and Hawthorne, as well as the railroad, photography, and the telegraph. In the process, they reveal a Poe immersed in the America of his day -- its politics, science, technology, best-selling books, biases, arts, journalism, fads, scandals, and even sexual mores -- and render accessible all thirty-two stories included here. The general introduction, the headnote to each story, and the annotations included in this volume have been extensively revised from the editors' critically acclaimed editions of the complete short fiction: The Short Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe: An Annotated Edition (1976, 1990).