Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mrs. Richmond & Edgar Allan Poe

Nancy (Heywood) Richmond, wife of Charles Richmond of Lowell, Massachusetts, may have inspired Edgar Allan Poe's "For Annie" and played a part in Landor's Cottage

Below is an excerpt describing Nancy's perception of Edgar Allan Poe as well as comments made by Nancy's brother, (Amos) Bardwell Heywood. 

Poe then arranged his card to spend time at the Richmonds, neighbors to whom Jane Locke hand introduced him. There he met Nancy Richmond, the twenty-eight-year-old wife of a successful paper manufacturer [Charles B. Richmond] "and mother of a three-year-old girl." (Silverman 346) Ms. Richmond also took an interest in Poe, describing him as "unlike any other person, I had ever known, that I could not think of him in the same way--he was incomparable--not to be measured by any ordinary standard." (Silverman) In the Richmond household Poe found audience for recitation of his unfortunate past. Bardwell Richmond [sic] [Amos Bardwell Heywood], Nancy's brother, was struck by Poe's account of the brotherly/sisterly affection in his and Virginia's relationship. Bardwell thought such a relationship unusual as a basis for matrimony.

Part of the Edgar Allan Poe poem "For Annie":

From Modern English prose:

Letters purported to be between A.(Annie, formerly Nancy) L. (Locke) Richmond and Edgar Allan Poe can be found here.


Undine said...

I'm glad you used the word "purportedly" to describe these letters, considering that they exist only as copies "Annie" herself made for one of Poe's biographers many years later.

I've written about Mrs. Richmond and Poe on my blog several times. I've always found something...not quite right about that woman.

PalmsRV said...

Thanks for the comment and for noticing that I chose my words carefully!