Tag Archives: history

A Look at Poe’s “MS. Found in a Bottle”

Excerpt from Murray Ellison’s 2015 VCU M.A.Thesis on Poe and 19th-Century Science © “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…

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…

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…

Edgar Allan Poe and the Culture of Mourning

From train accidents, bridge collapses, and steamboat wrecks, to diseases such as the “White Plague,” or tuberculosis, it is undeniable that the nineteenth century was a witness of tragedy and deep mourning. Although the idea of mourning and mourning culture is not exclusive to the 1800s, it is safe to say the 1800s may have…

Unique Portrait Reveals Young Edgar Allan Poe

He had just made the greatest discovery in his long career of Poe collecting. This was the kind of find that could change the face of Poe studies and instantly transform the popular image of Edgar Allan Poe. By the end of the nineteenth century, Richmond historian Robert Lee Traylor (1864-1907) had been fortunate enough…

Poe Museum’s Artifacts Honored

The Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia is proud to announce that the Virginia Association of Museums has named the museum’s newly acquired portraits of Rufus and Caroline Griswold to 20i6’s list of Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts. The program is designed to create awareness of the conservation needs of artifacts in the care of collecting…

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…

What Ever Happened to Poe’s Hat?

The other day someone brought me a top hat supposed to have once belonged to Edgar Allan Poe. I had never doubted that Poe would have worn a hat. Fashion plates from Graham’s Magazine (which Poe edited) and other popular magazines of the day showed men in top hats, and, as seen in the below…