19.01.

1809: Edgar Allan Poe secretly married his 13-year-old first cousin

1809: Edgar Allan Poe secretly married his 13-year-old first cousin
Photo Credit To http://www.synastrypress.com/RuVaPoe1.jpg

Poe married in secret his close cousin – Virginia Clemm – who was only 13 (half his age). Unfortunately, she died young at only 24 of tuberculosis. There is a theory that Poe’s dark and melancholic poems (The Raven, Annabel Lee) originated from his experience with her illness and dying.

Famous American author Edgar Allan Poe was born on this day in Boston, under the name Edgar Poe (without the middle name Allan). He lost his parents early, so was taken care of by the Allan family, and because of that he got the full name Edgar Allan Poe.

At the age of 18, young Poe enlisted in the United States Army. It seems he was forced to that because of lack of means to support himself, rather than an interest in military profession. Three years later he even enrolled at the famous West Point – The United States Military Academy for educating officers. This well-known academy is about 80 km from New York when going upstream the bank of Hudson River. Poe was not long in West Point – he purposely got court-martialed so he would be dismissed. So he never finished that academy, nor became an officer. He went to New York and tried to start his writing career.

When he was 26, Edgar Allan Poe secretly married his close cousin – Virginia Clemm – who was only 13 (half his age). She was his first cousin because his father and her mother were brother and sister. Until this day it has not been completely clarified why did that unusual marriage occur. Namely, even if such a marriage of close cousins was not so uncommon at that time (that is how Queen Victoria, or Emperor Francis Joseph and his Sissi were married), a 13 year-old bride was unusually young. Unfortunately, she also died young at only 24, of tuberculosis. There is a theory that Poe’s dark and melancholic poems (The Raven, Annabel Lee) originated from his experience with her illness and dying.

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