Lenore, Part 2: Her Queue
All the residents of Baltimore knew
Of the droves she’d do in her queue;
So, it wasn’t a shock,
When she could no longer walk
And was rendered unable to chew.
Undoubtedly, 19th Century mores regarding (in)appropriate relationships were quite different from twenty-first century sensibilities, but by modern standards, Edgar Allan Poe was an incestuous pedophile. In the summer of 1829, he met his first cousin Virginia Clemm for the first time, a few months after his army discharge. She was six years old. In 1836, only seven years later, they married. She was 13; he was 27. By this time, they had already lived together for some time, having eloped in 1835. They are said to have loved each other very much, and Edgar was devastated by her death from consumption (tuberculosis) in 1847, when she was just 24 years old. Many have speculated on the true nature of their relationship, suggesting that it may have been platonic–even sibling-like–in a marriage that was perhaps never consumated. We’ll probably never know for sure.