“Superstitious terror crept by degrees into the spirit of the old Swede, and my own soul was wrapped up in silent wonder” — Edgar Allan Poe

In Her Own Words: A Valentine for Edgar Allan Poe

Virginia Poe was Edgar Allan Poe's devoted wife (and first cousin.) Though widely believed to be the inspiration for Poe's writing and recurring themes of dark beauty and doomed devotion, only one piece of writing from his wife survives: an acrostic Valentine to Edgar in 1846, less than a year before she would die at the age of 24. Listen to a special recording of Virginia's own love words to her husband, then join us for a graveside chat with Dean Knight of the Poe Museum (Richmond) for a talk about the marriage of Edgar Allan Poe to Virginia, including Edgar's proposal of marriage.
Debbie Phillips of Richmond, Virginia, is a freelance lecturer, tour guide, and living history interpreter. She enjoys bringing history to life for audiences of all ages, and has worked in public history for 15 years. Her living history repertoire ranges from mid-18th century through World War II, including several women from Edgar Allan Poe's life. Debbie and her husband have two wonderful boys, and in what spare time she can find, she enjoys singing, acting, backpacking, camping, knitting, cooking, and reading.
Dean Knight is the Programs Coordinator at the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, in charge of scheduling and delivering tours and programs for groups of all ages both on-site and virtually. He is a Standardized Patient at the Medical College of Virginia, portraying patients with a variety of psychiatric ailments for the education of medical and nursing students, which helps him better understand what a genius Poe was at portraying mental illness in literature. He is also a regional stage actor, having performed in over 40 mainstage productions throughout Central Virginia over the past 15 years.
This is the second in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial released in 2022; follow us on social media to be alerted when events are happening! The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women's Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)
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