Poe's Short Stories

In popular culture

As a character

The historical Edgar Allan Poe has appeared as a fictionalized character, often representing the "mad genius" or "tormented artist" and exploiting his personal struggles.[134] Many such depictions also blend in with characters from his stories, suggesting Poe and his characters share identities.[135] Often, fictional depictions of Poe use his mystery-solving skills in such novels as The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl.[136]

Preserved homes, landmarks, and museums

No childhood home of Poe is still standing, including the Allan family's Moldavia estate. The oldest standing home in Richmond, the Old Stone House, is in use as the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, though Poe never lived there. The collection includes many items Poe used during his time with the Allan family and also features several rare first printings of Poe works. 13 West Range, the dorm room Poe is believed to have used while studying at the University of Virginia in 1826, is preserved and available for visits. Its upkeep is now overseen by a group of students and staff known as the Raven Society.[137]

The earliest surviving home in which Poe lived is in Baltimore, preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Poe is believed to have lived in the home at the age of 23 when he first lived with Maria Clemm and Virginia (as well as his grandmother and possibly his brother William Henry Leonard Poe).[138] It is open to the public and is also the home of the Edgar Allan Poe Society. Of the several homes that Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria rented in Philadelphia, only the last house has survived. The Spring Garden home, where the author lived in 1843–1844, is today preserved by the National Park Service as the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.[139] Poe's final home is preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx.[65]

In Boston, a commemorative plaque on Boylston Street is several blocks away from the actual location of Poe's birth.[4][140][141][142] The house which was his birthplace at 62 Carver Street no longer exists; also, the street has since been renamed "Charles Street South".[143][144] A "square" at the intersection of Broadway, Fayette, and Carver Streets had once been named in his honor,[145] but it disappeared when the streets were rearranged. In 2009, the intersection of Charles and Boylston Streets (two blocks north of his birthplace) was newly designated "Edgar Allan Poe Square".[146] In March 2014, fundraising was completed for construction of a permanent memorial sculpture at this location. The winning design, by Stefanie Rocknak, depicts a life-sized Poe striding against the wind, accompanied by a flying raven, and trailed by papers falling from his open suitcase.[147][148][149][150] The public unveiling on October 5, 2014 was attended by former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky.[151]

Other Poe landmarks include a building in the Upper West Side, where Poe temporarily lived when he first moved to New York. A plaque suggests that Poe wrote "The Raven" here. The bar where legend says Poe was last seen drinking before his death still stands in Fells Point in Baltimore. The drinking establishment is now known as "The Horse You Came In On", and local lore insists that a ghost they call "Edgar" haunts the rooms above.[152]

Poe Toaster

Adding to the mystery surrounding Poe's death, an unknown visitor affectionately referred to as the "Poe Toaster" paid homage at Poe's grave annually beginning in 1949. As the tradition carried on for more than 60 years, it is likely that the "Poe Toaster" was actually more than one individual, though the tribute was always the same. Every January 19, in the early hours of the morning, the person made a toast of cognac to Poe's original grave marker and left three roses. Members of the Edgar Allan Poe Society in Baltimore helped protect this tradition for decades.

On August 15, 2007, Sam Porpora, a former historian at the Westminster Church in Baltimore where Poe is buried, claimed that he had started the tradition. Porpora said that the tradition began in 1949 in order to raise money and enhance the profile of the church. His story has not been confirmed,[153] and some details he gave to the press have been pointed out as factually inaccurate.[154] The Poe Toaster's last appearance was on January 19, 2009, the day of Poe's bicentennial.


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