Category Archives: Education

Poe Has “Some Words With A Mummy”

An excerpt from Murray Ellison’s 2015 MA Thesis from Virginia Commonwealth University on Poe and 19th-Century Science © Poe’s tale, “Some Words with a Mummy” (1845) provides one of the most revealing views about the low value he places in nineteenth-century science. Although the unnamed narrator of this short story, who also speaks in the…

“The captain’s gray hairs are records of the past, and his grayer eyes are Sybils of the future. The cabin floor was thickly strewn with strange, iron clasped folios, moldering instruments of science and obsolete long-forgotten charts”– “MS. Found in a Bottle” by Edgar Allan Poe (1833) Poe illustrated his concerns about the uncertainties and…

The Poetic Principle: A Rich Intellectual Treat

Written by Rob Velella, August 17, 2009, as part of “The Edgar A. Poe Calendar: 365 Days of the Master of the Macabre and the Mystery“ Edgar Poe presented an evening lecture on August 17, 1849, in Richmond titled “The Poetic Principle.” The lecture, which adapted a similar one presented in Providence, Rhode Island in…

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’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…