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Adapted Classics Blog

Authors Archives | Adapted ClassicsBlog Posts

The first person opening of “Thou Art the Man”

The first person opening of Edgar Allan Poe’s Thou Art the Man had to go, so we went ahead and cut it. We promised an excuse for this in our last blog. Here you have it: We did it for our audience. We adapt classic short stories primarily for modern, middle school readers, by adding illustrations. But we also slightly modify the narratives. We do both for the sake of the audience, especially for the youngest segment of our readers. And we do some of it because they, and we, are modern. Language, both vocabulary and the written ordering of[…] Read More

Edgar Allan Poe’s Viewpoint

Edgar Allan Poe’s viewpoint is predictable. He almost always uses a first-person narrator to tell his stories. However, only one of the three stories we collected for Poe Illustrated uses the first-person point-of view in the way Poe typically did.  A visitor to an insane asylum tells the story in System Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. He knows all that happened during his visit because he lived it. He also expresses his own opinions and knowledge about the asylum before, during, and after his visit. Poe uses this first-person style of story-telling regularly, especially in his tales of terror.  In[…] Read More

Accessible Classic Literature for Middle-School

Accessible classic literature for middle-school readers? Soon, Poe Illustrated will fill that bill. We have this Edgar Allan Poe collection of stories in pre-production right now. We plan to publish in April 2021. It will include three illustrated Poe stories – our previously published Thou Art the Man and Hop-Frog, plus a new Adapted Classics title – The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. We know that many middle school students enjoy reading classic literature just as originally written and presented. But we also know that many middle school students would never choose to read this type of fiction[…] Read More

Mark Twain is Running for Governor

Mark Twain is Running for Governor. But that’s fake news. Or just plain fiction, to use a more accurate term. For among other things, Mark Twain wrote political satire. Our latest story celebrates this brand of Twain humor during our 2020 election season. Twain wrote Running for Governor for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine. He portrayed his fictional candidacy for Governor to be hopeless, just as if he had actually campaigned for the position. He knew that both major party candidates were generating newspaper propaganda in the New York election of 1870. And he knew those lies would doom any honest, independent candidate to defeat. Fake[…] Read More

Free Illustrated ePub – Twain’s Running for Governor

Free Illustrated ePub—Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. So go ahead. Get your free illustrated ePub until the US 2020 presidential election is decided. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. After all, unlike our 2020 presidential election, Mark Twain’s campaign isn’t real. Or so people say. 

Election Propaganda? Mark Twain is Running!

Election Propaganda? What’s new? Until the US 2020 presidential election is decided, we are posting a free download of Mark Twain’s Running for Governor on our home page. So go ahead. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This election campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. After all, unlike[…] Read More

A Free-for-All Election, no-holds-barred

A free-for-all election, no-holds-barred, can be fun. But not unless someone like Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Pretend with him that he is, and just forget the obstacles he encounters are so much like 2020 reality. Get past that kind of comparing and you’ve got it made. You can enjoy Twain’s humorous political tale, and immensely! Mark Twain’s Running for Governor will eventually be collected with two more Twain stories in an Adapted Classics book entitled Twain Illustrated. But we could not resist sharing a free, special edition of this story during the 2020 election season. Twain hilariously describes his run for[…] Read More

Feathertop-Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Last Story

Feathertop was the last story Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote. Most literary critics do not rank it with his best. They usually find the story too far-fetched and its moral message too obvious. Both these criticisms may be valid, but it’ s also very difficult to please literary critics. Did they overlook Feathertop’s entertainment value? Mother Rigby certainly makes her disdain for human phoniness very obvious, but she does so with humorous digs and disses that have held up very well over time.  And when Feathertop gains self-awareness, when he realizes he is but a scarecrow stuffed with straw, his surrender to[…] Read More

The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether

The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether shows Edgar Allan Poe’s dark sense of humor to great effect. We will include it in Poe Illustrated, our collection of three illustrated stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe wrote The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether in 1845.  About 50 years prior to that, French doctor Phillipe Penel had devised a gentle system for treating mentally ill patients. Poe created a similar ’soothing’ system for treating patients in the House of Health, the asylum setting for this humorous, yet controversial story. Despite Penel’s well-publicized innovation, harsh treatment of mental patients persisted in asylums world-wide. Maybe Poe was trying to promote Penel’s gentle methods when he wrote his story. Or perhaps not. To this day scholars who analyze literature or try to[…] Read More

Poe Illustrated Delayed Due to Pandemic

We have postponed the release of Poe Illustrated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s doubtful anyone would be surprised. Ain’t about everything fun, good, and worthwhile delayed, postponed, or canceled? To say these are terrible times says about absolutely nothing. We are unhappy for everybody, and especially sad for those most effected, directly and indirectly . As a micro-publisher, we operate ArtWrite Productions/Adapted Classics out of a home. We do virtually everything remotely, or at least we could. So why not proceed with the publication? Well, classrooms in elementary and middle schools, their libraries, and public libraries, comprise our primary[…] Read More