Author Archives: Kelly

The Imp of the Poeverse

Which story does Poe scholar Thomas Ollive Mabbott deem as one of Poe’s “great stories, although not one of the most popular?” There may be many obscure stories coming to mind; however, this particular story falls under the category of Horror and may give us insight into the development of the psychological thriller sub-genre, as…

Poe, Lynch, and the Literary Salon Scene

Many who have visited the museum may have recognized the striking portrait of a mysterious woman in the Memorial Building, just above Maria Clemm’s socks and cornered to Samuel Osgood’s Poe portrait. Her eyes follow no matter where you step in the room, her inquisitive gaze and smirk presenting an air of grace, affluence, intelligence,…

The Critic Who Burned “Fairy-Land”

Editor Nathaniel Parker Willis once burned a manuscript of Poe’s “Fairy-Land.” That seems like pretty harsh treatment from a literary editor; and we wonder why such atmospheric lines as “Dim vales-and shadowy floods- / And cloudy-looking woods” might receive such severe critical feedback? The answer lies in comparing the poem we commonly know with its…

“Lines on Ale” and Other Misattributed Poems

I recently came across a curious poem in a Poe anthology entitled “To Isadore.” I was not familiar with it, but it certainly sounded like Poe’s voice throughout the stanzas, at least so I thought. The publishers sure fooled me, for lo’ and behold, it was deemed as being misattributed to Poe and it had…

Poe’s Irish Eyes Are Smiling

We are familiar with Poe’s ties to Scotland through his (unofficially) adoptive father, John Allan; but, did you know that Poe officially carried Celtic roots in his blood? There is one thing that Maria Clemm Poe, David Poe Jr., and Edgar all have in common, being that they come from Irish roots. Muddy, Poe’s mother-in-law…

Poe as America’s Unabashed Critic

Poe was notorious for being a harsh critic-he was nicknamed the “Tomahawk Man,” after all. But are you familiar with these particular criticisms? Check these out: 1) Poe once told a guy to shoot himself. According to Poe scholar Chris Semtner in his book Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond, Poe wrote a review of author Langston…

Poe the “Punny” Poet

It was recently brought to my attention that Poe was once a comedian. I recall first hearing this statement claimed a few years ago-after all, he has written more satire and humorous stories combined than horror-but who would believe that this “miserable” and “melancholy” writer was once a comedian? If you still remain skeptical, do…

What Type of Beauty Could Move Poe’s Sensitive Soul to Tears This Valentine’s Day?

[The Poet] feels it in the beauty of woman — in the grace of her step — in the lustre of her eye — in the melody of her voice — in her soft laughter — in her sigh — in the harmony of the rustling of her robes. He deeply feels it in her…

A Gentleman, If Not a Christian: the Life of Rufus Griswold

In August of 2014, we covered the scandal between Poe and Rufus Griswold, Poe’s defamer. We went in depth into the situation and analyzed the happenstances leading up to Griswold’s scheme. However, it should be recognized that Griswold was more than just a villainous character in the life of Poe. Rufus Wilmot Griswold was born…

All the World’s a Stage for Bill Burton

“Burton not only lies, but deliberately and wilfully lies . . . Were I in your place I would take some summary method of dealing with the scoundrel, whose infamous line of conduct in regard to this whole premium scheme merits, and shall receive exposure.”-Poe to Joseph Snodgrass, June 17, 1840 Many may be familiar…