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Poe’s Bronx Retreat

By Harriet Staff

The Morning News takes a trek over to the Bronx to visit Edgar Allan Poe’s Cottage. As Erik Bryan tells us, by no means was this a fancy retreat:

Neil, our guide, kicked off the tour by describing Poe’s extreme poverty, which is noteworthy considering that, not counting the university, the Poe cottage is the only residence still standing from the original Fordham Village. Poe moved there with his wife (also his cousin), Virginia, and his mother-in-law (also his aunt), Maria, in 1846. Virginia had tuberculosis, and it was thought she might benefit from the fresh air of the country, which this part of Westchester was at the time. At the time, Fordham Village was new, having recently sprouted up around the train depot on the New York and Harlem River Railroad line. In 1841, the Catholic Diocese of New York had established St. John’s College nearby, which would later become Fordham University. Poe sought out the company of the Jesuits there, probably the only guys in the neighborhood as well-read as he was. Neil said Poe was known to hang out at the college many a night, drinking, smoking, and playing cards, and joked that they talked about everything but religion.

Oh, and btw, you’ll have to make the jump to see photos of the real cottage. This one here is of the House of Usher, before the fall.

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Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.