Monday, August 31, 2015

The Poisoning of Edgar and Virginia Poe

Rene Van Slooten, one of the more original and insightful Poe scholars out there, has an interesting article about how analysis of Edgar and Virginia's hair shows that the couple (particularly Virginia) had been poisoned with various toxic substances (largely from illuminating gas) during the years they lived in New York City.

Van Slooten goes on to suggest that this environmental poisoning was responsible for at least some of Poe's health problems and notoriously erratic behavior during this period.  Although Van Slooten does not mention this, I found myself wondering if this poisoning contributed to Virginia's early death.

As that popular blogging saying goes, read the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. He was sick in New York, but (generally) better on his remove to Fordham (though he still had his bouts of illness).