Dark Romantics & the Death of Edgar Allen Poe

April 10, 2009

 

Edgar Alen poe

For these Dark Romantics, the psychology of man is prone to a perverse and self-destructive nature. The natural world is dark, decaying, and mysterious; when it does reveal truth to us, its revelations are evil and hellish.

On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, “in great distress, and in need of immediate assistance,” according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name “Reynolds” on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe’s final words were “Lord help my poor soul.” All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost. Newspapers at the time reported Poe’s death as “congestion of the brain” or “cerebral inflammation”, common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. However, the actual cause of death remains a mystery.

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