Sunday, 29 November 2009

On this day...

A notice appeared in the Richmond, Viriginia 'Inquirer' in 1811, asking for donations for destitute Eliza Poe and her two children. Dying from tuberculosis, she wrote: 'To the Humane Heart. On this night Mrs Poe, lingering on the bed of disease and surrounded by her children, asks your assistance and asks it perhaps for the last time.' She died a week later at the age of 24, leaving behind two year old Edgar, and younger sister Rosalie; Edgar supposing to have been named after a character in 'King Lear' in a symbol of Eliza's Shakespearian acting past. Successful Scottish merchant John Allan, who dealt in tobacco, slaves, tombstones and other such savoury products, took Edgar into their house, giving him the name by which he is best known; that of Edgar Allan Poe. Sadly, the death of his mother was later to be reflected with that of his wife, who also died at twenty four, and of tuberculosis.

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