Friday, December 19, 2008

One month to go

It's December 19 - which means we are exactly only one month away from the big bicentennial birthday!

I think I first realized that Poe's bicentennial was coming up back when I was a sophomore in college. That's when I really started getting deeply interested in Poe, read my first book on Poe (Silverman's book, Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance - now available in a new edition), and starting picking up details on his biography. I told myself that if I ever published anything it would be on Poe, and I set a personal goal of getting it published by 2009 for his birthday. At the time, I probably thought I was the only one that would know Poe was turning the big 200. Well, the good news is that I was wrong about that and also that I succeeded in my goal by publishing the Poe desk calendar with plenty of time to spare before Poe's birthday.

Tomorrow, by the way, is Edgar's sister Rosalie Poe's birthday. I wonder where she's buried. I would presume somewhere in Richmond but I've never come across information on it. Anyone out there know?

By the way, here's the link to the eBay sales page, in case you lost it.


Anonymous said...

Rosalie Poe is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, in Washington, D.C.

Incidentally, I'd be a bit wary about Rosalie's "official" birthdate. So far as I can tell, the only source for her DOB is J.H. Whitty, who, as far as reliability goes, is right up there--or down there, rather--with Susan Talley Weiss. We know she was baptized on 9/3/1812, but , according to Arthur Quinn, no documentary evidence of her birth is known to exist.

Even though Whitty gave the year of her birth as 1810, her tombstone, very oddly, says she was born in 1812!

Rob Velella said...

Silverman seems to agree with the birthdate, without question, it seems... I wonder where the evidence comes from? The 1812 date is interesting, and certain suggests evidence that David Poe wasn't her father!

Anonymous said...

Whitty said he got Rosalie's birthdate from a "Mackenzie family Bible." Unfortunately, he is the only one to ever claim to have seen this Bible--which, evidently, no longer exists, if it ever did.

Whitty was one of the more hazardous Poe cranks--he was constantly claiming to have "evidence" of various kinds that he never let anyone else see, and he's linked to at least one Poe letter that has been proved to be a forgery. Basically, everything related to Poe that traces back to Whitty--and that's a lot--has to be handled very cautiously.

As for poor Rosalie, I actually find myself wondering if Mrs. Shew wasn't on to something when she claimed that Mrs. Clemm maintained that Rosalie was not the child of David OR Eliza Poe!

Rob Velella said...

It's certainly possible (regarding Rosalie's paternity). I wonder if the Poe family Bible which is set to be on display in Richmond this Spring will have any mention of her birth date...