Who was Mary Stanard?

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I read somewhere about a person named Mary Stanard who was a person of note in the life on E. A. Poe. Who was she? What was her connection to Poe? What, if any connection did she have to the town of Starnardsville located just north of Charlottesville in Virginia?

-- Anonymous, December 25, 1999


Her name was Mrs. Jane Craig Stanard and she met Poe through his school friend, Robert Stanard. Her kindness to a teenage Poe resulted in her becoming his first ideal passion. It is my belief, though I freely admit that I cannot support this view, that she and Poe shared a love of the classics and classic mythology. It is thought that Poe wrote the first "To Helen", one of his best poems, for her.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2000

Mary Newton Stanard wrote a novel about Edgar Allan Poe, in 1925 entitled THE DREAMER, A Romantic Rendering of the Life Story of Edgar Allan Poe. Amazon might have a copy in the "Out of Print" book section, or possibly Barnes & Noble, or Alibris. It is an excellent book, beautifully written. I don't think Jane Stanard and the author of this book were related. I could be wrong.

Jane Stith Craig Stanard was the mother of Edgar A. Poe's boyhood friend, Robert. His poem "To Helen" (the first one), was inspired by her. The second poem "To Helen" was intended for Sarah Helen Whitman, his fiancee in late 1848. I'm not sure about the Stanardsville/Charlottesville connection. I hope this helped.


-- Anonymous, March 08, 2002

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