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Loss of Breath


Loss of Breath, also known as Loss of Breath: A Tale Neither In Nor Out of 'Blackwood, is an American tale written by Edgar Allan Poe and signed under the pseudonym "Littleton Barry" when published. Inspired by the rapid scientific developments during the nineteenth century and pre-war period, Poe and other writers commonly expressed their ideas and perspective about the newfound medical culture and practices. As a result, medicine and literature were closely intertwined during this period. It is the morning after the wedding of Mr and Mrs Lackobreath when he is screaming words of vilification at her. Mid-speech, Mr Lackobreath comes to the realization that he has literally lost his breath. Struggling to speak, he isolates himself in his boudoir to meditate on the odd occurrence. After investigating the room and failing to find his breath, he decides to convince his wife that he must follow his dream for the stage as a means of evading her and her inquiries. The narrator decides to ultimately leave the country, but first takes a coach to the outskirts of the city with nine other travellers. Squeezed among colossal men, he is left with a displaced head and limbs. Motionless, Mr Lackobreath is deemed dead. A practising physician then reports to the scene, and when the application of his pocket- mirror reveals no presence of breath, he pronounces Mr Lackobreath dead. His body is thrown out of the coach after which Mr Lackobreath lands outside a tavern called the "Crow." You can listen online to free English audiobook “Loss of Breath” by Edgar Allan Poe on our website.

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