Category Archives: Education

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…

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…

Poe Statue Takes a Ride

Poe is on the move! After nearly six decades sitting across the street from the home of Poe’s first great love and muse, Richmond’s statue of Edgar Allan Poe has been displaced to make room for some newer sculptures. This is only the latest in many twists and turns in the life of Virginia’s first…

Poe’s Investigations of a 19th-Century Automated Chess Machine – Part I

Charles Babbage’s First Automated Chess Machine on Display in the London Science Museum Written By Murray Ellison  |  November 1st, 2017 Literary Historian, Gerald Kennedy writes, “In Poe’s writing career he worked… as a proofreader, editor, reviewer” of newspapers in Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York—the publishing centers of the United States” (64). These venues…

Interactive Mock Trial Used As Educational Resource

Although July and August are understandably a slow time for the Education Department, we hosted a group of teachers from Hanover County Public Schools in late July for a tour and Mock Trial and we’ll be doing it again in later August for those Hanover County English teachers who missed the first time around.  Education…

Poe’s Hair Sheds Light on Unsolved Mystery

From June 22 until September 17, 2017, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia will feature Investigating History: Testing Edgar Allan Poe’s Hair, a groundbreaking new exhibit examining the latest scientific testing of the nineteenth century author Edgar Allan Poe’s hair by University of Virginia scientist Stephen Macko. These tests provide valuable clues to…

Poe’s First Published Story about a Shipwreck Foreshadows Eureka: A Prose Poem (Part I of II)

By Murray Ellison Poe’s first important tale, “MS. Found in a Bottle,” (1833) won the Baltimore Visiter’s first prize for fiction. Poe scholar, Thomas Mabbott calls it a “masterpiece,” contending that “winning the contest set the author on the way to lasting fame” (Tales and Sketches 131). The Visiter wrote that “Poe’s tales are eminently distinguished…

Poe Museum Sheds New Light on Endangered Portraits

What in the world happened to Caroline Griswold’s face? Rest assured, she still looks the same as she did last week. We just photographed her under different lighting conditions. By lighting the portrait from an angle, the conservator is better able to see the surface cracks that need to be repaired. Below is the portrait…

H.P. Lovecraft Visits the Poe Museum

Last Saturday, August 20, would have been the 126th birthday of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), author of such influential horror, science fiction, and fantasy tales as The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, and At the Mountains of Madness (which was inspired by Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym). Lovecraft’s influence on both horror…

Poe Museum Portraits Nominated to Virginia’s Most Endangered Artifacts

Each year, the Virginia Association of Museum’s accepts nominations for Virginia’s Most Endangered Artifacts, and this time the Poe Museum’s newly acquired portraits of Edgar Allan Poe’s worst enemy Rufus W. Griswold and his wife Caroline made the list of nominees. This honor means that people realize the significance of these historical artifacts and how…