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Archived Group Reads 2012 > Poe's Life and Writing

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message 1: by Marialyce (last edited Jun 28, 2012 01:29PM) (new)

Marialyce This was a great site for some background on Mr Poe.

http://www.poemuseum.org/index.php

Some interesting facts as well...
1) no one knows why he died. He left for Baltimore on September the 26th, with a weak pulse and a fever, according to his fiance. He visited his friend as he left town, accidentally taking his friend's walking stick, something that he would never do normally (he took pride in his appearance). He was discovered on a Baltimore street, wearing someone else's clothes, on October the third. Someone sent for a doctor Poe was acquainted with. The doctor took him to his clinic, where he spoke deliriously for a few days. He woke from his delirium on October the seventh long enough to say "Lord help my poor soul," and then he died.Over 20 theories regarding his death exist. One of the most accepted theories was that some henchmen were hired by a politician to drug passerby and force them to vote for said politician. Poe was found on election day, and this was not so uncommon. They would used the drugged men to vote repeatedly, which may explain his clothing. A more recent theory is that he died of a brain tumor. And, of course, there is the possibility that he contracted rabies.

2) He joined the army under the false name "Edgar A. Perry."

3) He was only paid $9 for "The Raven."

4) His madness and drunkenness are largely exaggerations: they are a product of a man named Rufus Griswold who wrote an anonymous, false, and scathing obituary for Poe. He also published a false biography of him. Griswold was upset because of a negative review Poe wrote about one of his works years earlier. Extremely vengeful, he seemed determined to make sure the world falsely thought of Poe as an evil man.

5) Poe played games on the lawn with his wife. She was much younger than he, and there are stories of them playing leapfrog. One account says during a game of leapfrog, he split his pants, and blushed furiously. His young wife could not stop giggling.

6) He loved the fame "The Raven" brought him. The Raven actually became his nickname, and there are stories of children walking behind him on the street and flapping there arms and cawing. Poe would play along by turning suddenly and saying "Nevermore." The children would scream and run away, and he'd chuckle a bit. Then the children would return and repeat the process.

7) He never in his life signed anything "Edgar Allan Poe." The name Allan came from the family who took him in, and he didn't get along very well with his foster father. He therefore signed documents Edgar A. Poe, or E. A. Poe. The name Edgar Allan Poe was given to him after he died by Griswold (see number 4).

8) He was never officially adopted by the Allan family.

9) He loved his foster mother, but he and his foster father never got along. One reason why that may have been is that when Mr. Allan was unfaithful to his wife. Poe was fiercely loyal to Mrs. Allan, who was dying of tuberculosis. It is rumored that John Allan would have affairs with women in the same house where Mrs. Allan lay dying. Poe called him out on this, and they never saw eye to eye after that. Poe threatened to reveal Allan's secret, but never did for fear of ruining Mrs. Allan's name.

10) He was poor all of his life. His foster father was a rich man, but upon his death he left Poe nothing, though he left money to many of his illegitimate children. He had long stopped supporting Poe financially.


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 402 comments Great tidbits, Marialyce!

Have you heard of the "Poe Toaster", who made annual visits to Poe's grave? I found it fascinating:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe_Toaster


message 3: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce Denise wrote: "Great tidbits, Marialyce!

Have you heard of the "Poe Toaster", who made annual visits to Poe's grave? I found it fascinating:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe_Toaster"


It does lend to his aura, doesn't it?
I had heard of this. Thanks, Denise for making our author a bit more "mysterious."


message 4: by LunaBel (new)

  LunaBel  (Lunaluss) Poe's life was really a sad one....


message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I love the images of him playing leapfrog with his wife and then playing with the children in the street.


message 6: by LunaBel (new)

  LunaBel  (Lunaluss) Martha wrote: "I love the images of him playing leapfrog with his wife and then playing with the children in the street."

He was delicate with his wife and took good care of her. And he loved with she'd play piano for him. I think that what I like most about him is that even if he wrote morbid things, he still could appreciate what's good in life..


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (Mum2Two) | 27 comments Marialyce wrote: "This was a great site for some background on Mr Poe.

http://www.poemuseum.org/index.php

Some interesting facts as well...
1) no one knows why he died. He left for Baltimore on September the 26th,..."


What a wonderful thread to go into reading his book. I still have a childhood image in my mind of the first time I read some of his short stories and the mental images his writing created. Just a remarkable man. Interesting to note that it is Poe's name that is still touted as one of the best writers,rather than Griswold's; even with Griswold's obituarty.


message 8: by LunaBel (new)

  LunaBel  (Lunaluss) Poe's followers and friends (well the few friends he had..) tried their best to show that Griswold's obituarty was in any case revealing who Poe really was.


message 9: by Lily (last edited Jun 29, 2012 09:36AM) (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 1276 comments Luna wrote: "Martha wrote: "I love the images of him playing leapfrog with his wife and then playing with the children in the street."

He was delicate with his wife and took good care of her. And he loved with..."


"Annabelle Lee" is one of the lovely, haunting poems of which fragments have been part of my memory since high school declamation days:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annabel_Lee


message 10: by Rebecca (last edited Jun 30, 2012 02:40PM) (new)

Rebecca Loyal in his protection of his foster mother and name that says a lot.


message 11: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 1276 comments Loyalhissed -- ??


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Sorry typing on my iPad Lily


message 13: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 1276 comments Rebecca wrote: "Sorry typing on my iPad Lily"

Thx, Rebecca! My imagination failed me! :-D


message 14: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce So very true, Rida...unfortunately...


message 15: by Anthony (new)

Anthony | 4 comments Too much is made here of Griswold's besmattering of Poe's reputation. While it cannot be doubted that Griswold did everything he could to harm Poe's legacy and to enrich himself thereby, there is no doubt in informed scholarship that Poe was indeed not only a raging alcoholic whose drinking binges fueled his violent honor-based behavior, but also a consumer of opium on at least a sampling basis. I recommend "The Haunted Palace," a biography that acknowledges Griswold's venom but gives a much more balanced view of Poe's character and career.


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