My forthcoming book, The Souls Close to Edgar Allan Poe: Graves of His Family, Friends and Foes is being published by The History Press on August 21, 2023. Some of the cemeteries that I visited were places Poe visited. For some of the cemeteries in this collection, Poe would recognize only the names on the graves, not the place itself. And for other cemeteries, Poe would recognize the names and be familiar with the land—although prior to it being established as a burial ground. I love the idea of standing where the author once stood and walking the paths he once walked. I enjoy physically being in a place associated with history—where authors walked and lived. To have a fuller story of Poe and the people with whom he associated, I went to cemeteries and visited graves of his mother, wife, foster family, first and last fiancée, bosses, friends, cousins, school peers and instructors. I hope that my book encourages readers of Poe to visit the cemeteries in the collection to create their own experiences with those connected to the famous author. I focused on cemeteries in the South including those mostly in Virginia and Maryland, along with Washington, D.C.; Kentucky; South Carolina; and West Virginia.
The book isn't up on their website yet but it's being shown on Bookshop.org. I'll add a link below:
Journey to the burial places of the people who lived in Poe's world.
Edgar Allan Poe considered himself a Virginian. Credited with originating the modern detective story, developing Gothic horror tales, and writing the precursor to science fiction, Poe worked to elevate Southern literature. He lived in the South most of his life, died in Baltimore and made his final home in Richmond. His family and many of his closest associates were southerners. Visit the graves of the people with whom he worked and socialized, who he loved and at times loathed and gain a fuller understanding of Poe's life. These were individuals who supported, inspired, and challenged him, and even a few who attempted to foil his plans. Professor and cemetery historian Sharon Pajka tells their stories.