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What Does Edgar Allan Poe Have to Do With The Pale Blue Eye?

The Pale Blue Eye

The movie “The Pale Blue Eye” is a captivating American mystery thriller released in 2022. It was skillfully penned and directed by Scott Cooper, based on Louis Bayard’s renowned novel from 2006 with the same title.

In the movie, we see that Augustus Landor, an experienced detective, embarks on a daunting investigation into a series of gruesome murders. Throughout the challenging case, he receives invaluable assistance from a young cadet, none other than the future renowned author Edgar Allan Poe.

Thus fan become curious and asking- is pale blue eye a true story? Let’s dive into this.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

As you are reading this, I assume you already know about Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809–October 7, 1849) gained fame as an American writer, poet, editor, and literary critic, renowned for his mesmerizing poetry and captivating short stories, especially those entwining mystery and the macabre. Within the United States, he holds a prominent position in the Romanticism movement and is hailed as a pivotal figure in American literature. Among his many accomplishments, Poe is credited as an early pioneer of the short story genre and is revered as the originator of detective fiction, while also contributing significantly to the burgeoning realm of science fiction. He stands as the first prominent American author to solely sustain himself through his writing, though this path led to financial struggles throughout his life and career.

Edgar Allan Poe, The Pale Blue Eye

Edgar Allan Poe

In an almost surreal twist, a young cadet, Edgar Allan Poe, finds himself at the United States Military Academy amidst a chilling incident where a fellow cadet’s heart has been ruthlessly torn from his chest. As fate would have it, Poe joins forces with the esteemed detective Augustus Landor (played by Christian Bale) to delve into the depths of this gruesome murder.

Could it be possible that the very writer behind haunting poems like ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ was once involved in a real-life murder investigation back in 1830, long before he assumed the iconic mantle of the Edgar Allan Poe we recognize today?

Unfortunately, The Pale Blue Eye isn’t a true story, despite Edgar Allan Poe’s involvement. “The Pale Bale Eye” draws its inspiration from a historical fiction novel penned by Louis Bayard in 2003.

Although Edgar Allan Poe did indeed exist, the murder mystery plot within the story is completely fictional.

Bayard draws upon elements from Poe’s life to craft the narrative, infusing it with literary inspiration.

Apart from Poe himself, all the other characters in The Pale Blue Eye are entirely fictional. However, Louis Bayard ingeniously weaves aspects of Poe’s literary works into the portrayal of Augustus Landor, who assumes a role comparable to Holmes while Poe plays the part of Watson.

The first name, Augustus, pays homage to C. Auguste Dupin, the detective featured in Poe’s renowned short stories, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Purloined Letter.” As for his surname, Landor, it finds its origin in another of Poe’s short stories, “Landor’s Cottage,” which Bayard adeptly utilizes as inspiration for the setting of Landor’s residence.

Was Edgar Allan Poe involved in solving a murder?

Absolutely not! As far as historical records go, there is no indication of such an event. In 1830, the actual Edgar Allan Poe did attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, as depicted in the movie. Nonetheless, director and screenwriter Scott Cooper, who diligently researched Poe’s life while adapting the script, asserts that there is no evidence of any murders occurring on the campus during Poe’s time there.

Was Augustus Landor an actual individual?

No, Augustus Landor is purely fictional. The character of detective Augustus Landor, portrayed by Christian Bale in The Pale Blue Eye, was entirely created for the story. While it is conceivable that the real Edgar Allan Poe might have had associations with a detective, there is no concrete evidence to support such claims at present.

Read: Sherlock Holmes called Edgar Allan Poe’s detective ‘the ordinary detective’.

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Written by:

Harry Bikul
Postgraduated from Jahangirnagar University. Loves blogging and reading other people's writing. Spends leisure time watching good movies. Wants to travel around the world.

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