Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died the day before yesterday in Baltimore. This news will surprise many and sadden a few
This concise epitaph that appeared in some American newspapers on October 9, 1849 to publicize the death of Poe, the genius of short and mysterious stories, already gave pause to all those who knew and wanted to read between the lines.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was a child abandoned by his father, later orphaned and adopted. He enlisted in the army under a false identity and was expelled for not attending religious services. Romantic and infatuated to the core, he did not care about the mother of a friend, his 13-year-old cousin with whom he got to marry or the also poet Frances Sargent Osgood . Despite the appearance that Poe exuded love, there were not a few enemies that he made throughout his life. The worst and surely the most damaging was without a doubt Rufus W. Griswold .
Griswold was a well-known literary critic… famous for his lies and forgeries . They say that among his circle of acquaintances they had the saying Is he a Griswold or is it true? In reference to the fact that much of his was not true. This character got along very well with Poe at first. So much so that in one of his anthologies he included some of his poems. Edgar Allan Poe did nothing but be proud and thank him, although he made a big mistake:blame him for having added him to the collection of poems along with other writers who, in his opinion, did not deserve it so much. It was from here that a fratricidal rivalry arose between the two characters. Both fell in love with the aforementioned poet Osgood, being the talk of the society of the time. In addition, the darts that were thrown in interviews and publications were constant.
After achieving what Poe had been chasing for so long, getting to edit his own magazine called “Style ”, on September 27, 1847, his trail was lost and nothing was heard of him again until October 3, when he appeared in Baltimore in a deplorable state:drunk, drugged, with clothes of another size, a straw hat and without his representative mustache. Nothing is known of Poe's life during that week.
After five days admitted to Washington College Hospital of Baltimore, suffering from the symptoms of delirium tremens and babbling names of untraceable people, Poe dies. Causes? At first sight rage or a fatal brain tumor. Digging a little deeper, he came to talk about a poison provided by some assassins who were able to mix it with the wine and cause his death. And this part has a lot of substance.
A tavern Poe survives in the popular imagination, begging for glasses of wine. However, this is only part of the black legend of him fed by Griswold. Edgar Allan Poe had, like one of his sisters, an intolerance to alcohol. A single drink could put you in bed for days. On the other hand, he was a member of the organization known as “ Sons of Temperance ”, precursors of the subsequent Dry Law in the United States.
Although Poe felt persecuted and threatened during the last months of his life, having no proof he never wanted to say who he suspected. There were many enemies that he had and perhaps some saw his death as a great opportunity.
Nothing is clear in this whole story, but a final note can help us draw our own conclusions. From the moment of his death, his archenemy Ruffus W. Griswold was in charge, leaving Poe's living descendants totally untouched, of publishing the epitaphs in the newspapers, writing his biography and managing all his works as literary executor. .