Although this exhibition is largely limited to the English, no Gothic exhibition at the University of Virginia would be complete without an homage to Edgar Allan Poe. Briefly a student at the University of Virginia in 1826, Poe was forced to leave as he had run up huge gambling debts attempting to supplement the small allowance his guardian John Allan allotted him. The Raven Society at the University of Virginia maintains both his room on the West Range and the ravens that live underneath the portico eaves of the Rotunda. The University is home to the Ingram-Poe collection, an unparalleled collection assembled by John Henry Ingram, Poe's protector. Ingram was spurred to action by the smear campaign of Rufus Griswold, Poe's literary executor. Griswold exaggerated Poe's eccentricities, poverty, and inability to handle alcohol into a biography of Poe as madman, sadist, and hopeless drug addict. Under Griswold's pen, Poe indeed becomes a monster. In his life, however, Poe was an outsider by virtue of his extreme poverty, the lack of recognition of his genius while he was alive, and his obsession with death, preferably that of a beautiful woman.


The Raven. By Edgar Allan Poe. Illustrations by Ferdinand H. Horvath. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1930. Special Collections Department.

The Raven. By Edgar Allan Poe. New York: W. Jennings Demorest, 1870. The Special Collections Department.

The Raven. By Edgar Allan Poe. Illustrated by Gustave Dore, with commentary by Edmund C. Stedman. New York: Harper Brothers, 1884. Special Collections Department.

Letter, dated July 30, 1849, from Maria Clemm in New York to Annie Richmond. Copy by Ingram. The Ingram-Poe Collection. The letter tells of Poe's derangement in Philadelphia and of his paranoia that he was pursued by the police.

"Edgar A. Poe," by William Wertenbaker. A Facsimile. Ingram-Poe Collection. This is a summation of William Wertenbaker's recollections of Poe's student days at the University of Virginia. He refutes the stories of Poe's immoral habits and his expulsion from the University. This remembrance served Ingram and Whitman in their quest to disprove the allegations of Rufus Griswold.

Vincent Price life mask. Lent by Forrest Ackerman, Hollywood, CA. Price starred in countless films based on Poe tales, among them Premature Burial, The Oblong Box, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

Letter dated August 26, 1860. From Maria Clemm, Alexandria, VA, to Nielson Poe, Baltimore, MD. Copy by Nathaniel Holmes Morison. The Ingram-Poe Collection. After Poe's death, Mrs. Clemm burned hundreds of letters written to him by literary ladies. Fearing her poverty might force her to accept Rufus Griswold's offer of $500 for the letters of a certain lady, Mrs. Clemm burned them. Other letters she gave to Griswold, and she is now unable to recover them from Griswold's executors. The letter demonstrates the lengths to which Griswold went to discredit Poe, and the desperation of his loved ones to protect him, as well as serving as an example of their extreme vulnerability.

The Raven and Other Poems. By Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845. First edition. The McGregor Collection.

Le Corbeau, The Raven, Poeme par Edgar Allan Poe. Traduction Francaise de Stephane Mallarme, avec Illustrations par Edouard Manet. Paris: R. Lescerde, 1875. First edition. The Special Collections Department.

The "Stella" daguerreotype. Poe gave this daguerreotype to Sarah Anna Lewis in 1848; she bequeathed it to Ingram in 1880.

This is the proof of Edouard Manet's original drawing of Poe. He gave it to Stephane Mallarme, who in turn gave it to Ingram.

The Premature Burial.


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