Baltimore’s 19th-century flowering as a port city of both industry and culture, just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, prompted the pens of some of America’s most celebrated authors. Along with blue crabs and the B&O Railroad, Baltimore is known for its literary heritage, which, with writers such as Laura Lippman and Anne Tyler, shows no sign of letting up. Something about Baltimore clearly nurtures the literary impulse, but what is it, exactly? The allure of the famed harbor? Its heritage of Southern ways? The city’s journalistic traditions?
Arts journalist and Charm City resident Richard Selden takes a look at the sites and works closely connected with the most famous writers who lived—and, in two cases, died—in Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe, Gertrude Stein, H. L. Mencken, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Along the way he shares historic and contemporary images and reads passages from each author’s work.
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