Author Archives: Tyler Minks

Birth of Virginia Clemm

Written by Rob Velella, August 15, 2009, as part of “The Edgar A. Poe Calendar: 365 Days of the Master of the Macabre and the Mystery“ Happy birthday to Virginia Eliza Clemm, who was born August 15, 1822.* She would have been 195 today. What more can be said about Virginia that hasn’t been said…

Poe’s Place In Literary History

Written by Rob Velella, August 14, 2009, as part of “The Edgar A. Poe Calendar: 365 Days of the Master of the Macabre and the Mystery“ Poe’s place in literary history is occasionally questioned. Should he be considered a master of American literature? Does he deserve a place in the canon? Is he really important?…

Poe and the Early Development of Photography

*This essay is part of Murray Ellison’s Master’s Thesis from Virginia Commonwealth University on Edgar Allan Poe and Science© In 1840, Poe became a writer for Alexander’s Weekly Messenger and published three essays on the newly emerging image copying process, then known as the Daguerreotype. This technology was the earliest prototype for modern photography. Alan…

Edgar Allan Poe: Conchologist?

An excerpt from Murray Ellison’s Master of Arts Thesis © 2015 The Conchologist’s First Book was first published in April 1839, with its author being listed as Edgar Allan Poe. However, Poe was a consulting editor of the book and only wrote the Preface and Introduction. According to Poe documentarians Dwight Thomas and David Jackson,…

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part II

Modern Computer Solves Poe’s Last Inscrutable Puzzle Murray Ellison | April 13, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015. Poe published several columns on cryptography entitled “A Few Words on Secret Writing.” He explains that advanced puzzles, where the only secret to the code is “locked in…

Flash Fiction Contest Winner

  “Untitled” – Shawn Hambright By all accounts, the elephant is alive somehow, and still on fire. Some posit that the creature is possessed by those killed in a slave rebellion in the nineteenth century. Others see biblical connotations in that the mayhem has continued for seven days. No one has put forth the idea…

Flash Poetry Contest Winner

“Satis House” – Launce Reed Barber Possessor possessed by that in which he names Craving for all the treasures lonely Hoarding wares to fill his house Becoming more a coffin than a home The architect builds walls to hang his many mirrors Reflections to remind and extend To some endless imperfections end Thank the creators…

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I Murray Ellison | February 1, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015. Poe continued to demonstrate an interest in unlocking mysteries and secrets in several of the essays and newspaper columns he wrote on secret codes and cryptography. These popular weekly…

The Poe & Science Series

Was Poe Convinced that Phrenology is a Science? Murray Ellison | Jan. 8, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015 Poe continued his interest in spectacular news stories that blurred the lines between fact and fiction in an 1836 review on this topic: “A Review of Phrenology…

The Poe & Science Series

Poe Exposes Maelzel’s Automated Chess Player, Part II Murray Ellison | Dec. 2nd, 2017 In 1836, Poe asks readers of the Richmond-based Southern Literary Messenger to ponder the implications for the future if a machine could calculate without human input. He writes, “There is no analogy, whatever, between the operations of the chess-player and those…