Dead 160 years ago yesterday, Edgar Allen Poe lived for more than three years in what is now known as the Poe Cottage on Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, writing such works as “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Annabel Lee,” notes the New York Daily News.
I didn’t find in a quick search where the poet wrote “The Raven,” but I discovered that it was first published in the long gone Evening Mirror on Jan. 29, 1845 as an “advance copy.” So the Bronx cottage could not have been the site of any tap, tap, tapping. Alas.
Poe came to the Big Apple in April 1844 in search of literary acclaim. He moved from Manhattan to the Bronx two years later, in the spring of 1846, hoping that the hamlet of Fordham’s fresh air would assuage his wife Virginia’s tuberculosis. She died in the cottage in January 1847.
“It comes as a surprise to many New Yorkers that he was a Bronxite for awhile,” said Kathy McAuley, director of the Poe Cottage. “The cottage is the only house he lived in in New York City that still remains with us today.”
The city Parks Department is planning a full renovation likely to begin next year. “We’re trying to bring it back as close to the 1840s in terms of the colors of the walls and the woodwork,” said McAuley.
“I’ve been in the house and it’s been very peaceful. The cottage has been moved twice. If his spirit is anywhere it’s probably on the other side of Kingsbridge Road looking for the house. It was a sad time in his life but a peaceful one because he loved being in the country.”
Poe died in Baltimore during a trip south to promote a new literary magazine.
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