Author Nicholas Rombes explored the life and writings of a forgotten bestselling author from the 19th Century in a recent essay at The Rumpus.

According to Rombes, journalist George Lippard wrote stories “far weirder and super-black India inky” than Edgar Allan Poe. Thanks to the magic of Project Gutenberg, you can decide for yourself with a free eBook copies of books by the two writers–follow the links below to download.

Here’s more from the essay: “Like other ‘reform’ literature of its time, the novel’s claim to be a fictionalized exposé of corruption and villainy allows it to trade in the most sensationalized depictions of debauchery … Although it’s Poe’s name and works that we are more familiar with, Lippard’s best novels churn up something far weirder and super-black India inky than even Poe could conjure.

Read more