Tag Archives: history

The Poe Museum + Mending Walls RVA

In honor of Black History Month, we are sharing an Activity Guide dedicated to the temporary exhibit that is currently on display outside of the Poe Museum. This exhibit was created by Mending Walls RVA and is intended to encourage people to start having difficult yet necessary conversations about race and equality. This Activity Guide…

Moldavia: 219 Years Later

At an auction held on June 28, 1825, merchant John Allan purchased a Richmond estate. Actually, he purchased parts of three lots from the late Joseph Gallego and the late John Richard. One of those lots included the mansion nicknamed “Moldavia.” The name was granted by earlier owners, Molly and David Randolph. The brick house included a…

Poe’s Tales of Detective Fiction

MURRAY ELLISON–Urban crime was an area of acute interest in the nineteenth century in America and Europe because the public feared that it was rampant and out of the control of the police. To respond to this concern, Poe demonstrates increasingly complex aspects of ratiocination in each of his three Auguste C. Dupin detective-based tales….

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 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…

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…

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…

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…