Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Edgar A. Poe Marries Cousin Virginia Clemm 1847

Edgar Allan Poe secretly married Virginia Clemm (1822-1847), his cousin, on September 22, 1835. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21. On May 16, 1836, he had a second wedding ceremony in Richmond with Virginia Clemm, this time in public.

One evening in January 1842, Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis, while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat. She only partially recovered. Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia's illness.

Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York. That home, known today as the "Poe Cottage," is on the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Virginia died there on January 30, 1847. Biographers and critics often suggest Poe's frequent theme of the "death of a beautiful woman" stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his wife.

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