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The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar is a short story by American author Edgar Allan Poe. While editor of The Broadway Journal, Poe printed a letter from a New York physician named Dr A. Sidney Doane that recounted a surgical operation performed while a patient was "in magnetic sleep." The letter served as inspiration for Poe's tale. Many readers thought that the story was a scientific report. Robert Collyer, an English magnetic healer visiting Boston, wrote to Poe saying that he himself had performed a similar act to revive a man who had been pronounced dead (in truth, the man was actually a drunken sailor. A doctor has become fascinated by mesmerism. He is curious to see what would happen to an individual put under hypnosis while dying. A friend agrees to be the subject of this experiment. Seven months later, the doctor is called to the dying man’s bedside. As the patient’s breath and heartbeat slow, the doctor successfully hypnotizes him. The dying man feels no pain and responds to questions without rising from his trance. He asks the doctor not to wake him, but to let him die without pain. The next day, the patient’s eyes roll upward, his cheeks lose their colour, and his mouth falls open. The man is apparently dead. As they prepare him for burial, however, the tongue begins to vibrate and a minute later answers the question the doctor put to the patient just before his death. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” by Edgar Allan Poe on our website.

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