Poe has been credited with inventing almost every modern literary genre: the detective story (the Dupin tales), the horror story (‘The Masque of the Red Death’, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’), the science fiction story (‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’), and so on. What he certainly did in The Mystery of Marie Roget was to pioneer the ‘real-life murder mystery’. Marie’s murder closely paralleled the unexplained demise of Mary Rogers (note the similarity of names), a New York salesgirl who was found floating in the Hudson River in 1841. Poe offered his ‘Parisian’ version of the story to Snowden's Ladies' Companion in 1842, persuading the editor that he had advanced the Rogers investigation by his fictional analysis, and that the real murderer, would, as a result, soon be brought to book: but Poe had done little by way of research except read the papers, and when evidence later emerged that Mary Rogers had died as a result of a botched abortion, he revised the tale to fit the new, grisly details.
Stashower, Daniel: The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder (2006)
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