Short stories were the Victorian era’s version of weekly television shows, and talking ravens were an early edition of the cast of Bewitched—the difference being that the ravens didn’t fly. Take flight from regular to celebrate the work of a master storyteller and bird whisperer with today’s Groupon to the Poe Museum. Choose between the following options:
- For $6, you get admission for two (up to a $12 value).
- For $12, you get admission for four (up to a $24 value).<p>
Situated since 1922 near Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond home and his first place of employment, the Poe Museum celebrates the life of America’s maestro of the macabre by preserving the writer’s manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings. January 19 marks Poe’s 203rd birthday, and the museum intends to awaken his memory, and vulture-eyed old men, with a riotous bash on Saturday, January 14, featuring belly dancers, live music, and a theatrical Victorian séance. Exhibits unique to the celebration include illustrations by the artist James Carling that were produced for but ultimately never incorporated in an early volume of “The Raven.” In addition to a static collection of furniture, artwork, and Cal Ripken Jr. baseball cards from Poe’s boyhood home, Edgar Allan’s mother, Eliza, makes her museum debut in a temporary exhibit highlighting her career as a singer and actress.
Edgar Allan Poe holds a distinguished reputation in American literature, given his proclivity for dark work, such as “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” But the Poe of legend is often at odds with the real Poe: the student who had to gamble and burn his furniture to make it through college; the career man who traveled extensively to find better opportunities; and the devoted husband who never recovered from the death of his wife. He even enrolled at West Point … though he was thrown out eight months later.
The Poe Museum educates guests on the writer's life, helping them reconcile the reputed Poe with the real Poe. Located within the Old Stone House that lies just blocks from Poe's first Richmond home and his first employer, the Southern Literary Messenger, the museum showcases exhibits and significant artifacts, such as Poe's walking stick, his boyhood bed, and even a lock of his hair. This collection reveals his journey, showing what drove him to become a master writer of short stories, lyric poetry, action-movie screenplays, and, of course, horror stories.