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by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

In Poe's case, life – or at least the end of life – imitated art. The story of his death is as spooky as anything he wrote. The circumstances surrounding his death remain shrouded in mystery, but we'll dive into the basics. Between the dates of September 27th and October 3rd, 1849, little is clear about Poe's travels. We know that he arrived in Baltimore on the 27th of September. What is certain is that Poe turned up in front of a tavern, delirious and wearing a strange, tattered suit, in Baltimore on October 3rd. According to legend, he was found lying in the gutter and was soon taken to the hospital. Poe died four days later. He was never coherent enough to explain what had happened to him and the cause of his death remains undetermined to this day. (source)

On January 19, 1949, the centennial of Edgar Allan Poe's death, a cloaked figure appeared at his grave and toasted Poe with a glass of cognac. The man subsequently left a bottle of cognac and three roses. This tradition carried every year on the anniversary of Poe's death until January 2010 – the man, known as the "Poe Toaster" didn't show up. Although there have been many theories as to the Toaster's identity – some speculating that the duty was even passed on after the original Toaster's death – but no conclusive evidence has been found. As it stands, this was a fitting time to end the tradition: the bicentennial of Poe's birth (his 200th birthday) occurred in 2009. (source)

Here's one that's not so fun. In 1836, Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. He was fourteen years older than her. (source)

Believe it or not, Poe was a soldier. Well, sort of. He enrolled at West Point in 1830, but quickly decided he didn't want to attend. His way out? Purposely getting court-martialed. (That's the military equivalent of being tried in a civilian court.) After skipping his military drills, parades, and chapel for a while, a court was convened and he was expelled from the school. (source)

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