Virginia Clemm, Wife of Edgar Allan Poe
Virginia Clemm, The Teenage Wife of Edgar Allan Poe There has been some speculation about the true nature of the relationship between Poe and Virginia. Biographers disagree as to the nature of the couple's relationship Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off. Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe was the wife of the famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Her relationship with her husband became a subject of debate as Virginia's marriage to her first cousin, Edgar Allan Poe, has always.
And when we talked of her beauty, I well knew that the rose-tint upon her cheek was too bright, too pure to be of Earth. The Poe family next moved to New York City sometime in early Apriltraveling by train and steamboat.
Virginia waited on board the ship while her husband secured space at a boarding house on Greenwich Street. Edgar Allan Poe became associate editor of the Broadway Journal in Februaryand the following month, editor and part owner. There he alienated himself from other writers with his biting literary criticism in that paper, going so far as to accuse Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, though Longfellow never responded.
Poe attracted her interest with a public compliment during a lecture about the terrible state of American poetry, he singled her out as a rare exception.
The issue was that they both were married, Fanny to portrait painter Samuel Osgood, from whom she was estranged. Now 23, Virginia Clemm Poe, now housebound with tuberculosis, was aware of the friendship and might have actually encouraged it, seeing something in Osgood that was worthwhile for her literary husband.
At the same time another poet and writer, Elizabeth Ellet, became enamored of Poe and jealous of Osgood. But he did not respond to her advances. Although the rumors upset Virginia, she never doubted her husband. He then gathered up the letters Ellet had written to him and left them at her house. Poe must have been a forgery. For Poe, the result was disastrous. His reputation was tainted and he was excluded from the New York literary salons.
Although Poe and Osgood never saw each other afterhis relationship with her — which he called an amour — is generally considered a meaningful one. The rejected Ellet persisted in her attacks on Poe until his death.
The affair was resolved in a manner appropriate to the time — within four years the three main parties were dead. The cottage was small and simple: It is known today as Poe Cottage. Virginia was by this point an invalid, and Poe was chronically broke but provided as well as he could and despite the scandals involving his attention to other women no one doubted his devotion to his wife. Poe became a workaholic, churning out stories, poems, essays, reviews, whatever he could get, to pay the bills and try to keep Virginia healthy.
Her symptoms included irregular appetite, flushed cheeks, unstable pulse, night sweats, high fever, sudden chills, shortness of breath, chest pains, coughing and spitting up blood.
Virginia was tended to for a time by friend year-old Marie Louise Shew, who had learned medical care from her father and her husband, both doctors. Kindest — dearest friend — My poor Virginia still lives, although failing fast and now suffering much pain. May God grant her life until she sees you and thanks you once again!
Her bosom is full to overflowing — like my own — with a boundless — inexpressible gratitude to you. Lest she may never see you more — she bids me say that she sends you her sweetest kiss of love and will die blessing you. But come — oh come tomorrow! Not surprisingly, he became sick for months, suffering from depression and an irregular heartbeat. The funeral was February 2, On January 4,Poe wrote to friend George Eveleth: Six years ago, a wife, whom I loved as no man ever loved before, ruptured a blood vessel in singing.
Her life was despaired of. I took leave of her forever and underwent all the agonies of her death. She recovered partially and I again hoped… At the end of a year the vessel broke again. I went through precisely the same scene.
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Again in about a year afterward. Then again — again — again and even once again at varying intervals. Each time I felt all the agonies of her death — and at each accession of the disorder I loved her more dearly and clung to her life with more desperate pertinacity. But I am constitutionally sensitive — nervous in a very unusual degree. Poe spoke and wrote glowingly of his beautiful wife and she said to have idolized her husband, sitting close to him as he wrote and keeping his pens and writing papers in order.Edgar Allan Poe Mysteries #3 - Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe
George Rex Graham, a publisher who once employed Poe in one of his newspapers, wrote that "His love for his wife was a sort of rapturous worship of the spirit of beauty. However a scandal involving allegations of an improper relationship between Poe and another married woman hurt Virginia very deeply, and on her death bed she is said to have remarked that InVirginia developed tuberculosis and slowly wasted away and died five years later at the age of only The two had been married 9 years.
Her only known portrait was painted immediateley after Virginia died, when Poe realized that he did not have a picture to remind him of his wife.
He hired an artist who used Virginia's dead body as a model; the painting shows a woman who looks far younger than 25, and one has to wonder how she could ever have passed for 21 when she married at age Virginia's death left Poe inconsolable.
He had always suffered from alcoholic tendencies, but he had tried his best to abstain from alcohol for the sake of his wife. However her death sent him into a downward spiral and he began drinking again after many years of sobriety. Many of his writing just before her death and afterwards, which feature beautiful dead women, whose memories haunt the male protagonists, are believed to be based at least in part on Virginia.