- Mr Ackroyd places much importance on these early days.
- As a new representative of English novels,Peter Ackroyd is known for his rewriting of literature history.
- He also earned notoriety as a critic, and Mr Ackroyd has found some of his best insults.
- But Mr Ackroyd is especially good at conveying Poe's precarious state, ever on the brink of self-destruction.
- Mr Ackroyd insists repeatedly that Poe sought women who resembled his dying mother.
- Mr Ackroyd begins with Poe's mysterious death in Baltimore in 1849, honouring the detective genre Poe helped invent.