Poe and Osgood

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I've been reading Kenneth Silverman's bio on Poe and he had written that Poe made advances towards Osgood many times, and even followed her when she traveled to different places. Silverman also listed that Osgood became pregnant and that several people accused Poe of being the father. Now....my question is, was Poe romantically involved with Osgood? or was he just seeking out comfort from a close friend because his wife was gravely ill and she could not physically comfort him anymore....and Osgood was the only female friend close to him aside his mother-in-law? Please let me know, and sorry if my question is complicated. Thank you :)

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001


Virginia Poe, knowing she was dying, according to biographers, encouraged the friendship. She likely wished Fanny to get together with Poe after her death. Being congenial, with children and a fellow poet, this might seem a salvific union for both from her concerned point of view. As for Fanny, her cheatin' husband was her chief cause of sorrow and likely he did not care much who was distracting her. He even painted an excellent portrait of Poe. Still, that close relationship between ALL concerned makes it seem horrendously unlikely that something physical was going on. Poe had other women friends, some more predatory in their own right- and married with husbands who encouraged Poe's literary attentions with their wives. The nature of the nascent literary circles at that period in America necessitated some of that salon time, letter sharing(Mrs. Clemm burned many of the torrid or viciously jealous letters after Poe's death.)The origin of rumours, spiteful calumny concerning Fanny came, naturally, from some of these "literary" rivals for the great poet's attentions. Fanny trooping her children around and her open, bubbly manner make her rather unlikely a partner and being a mother these rumours, I believe?, helped drive them apart. Knowing the every detail of an artist's sex life seems to obligatory nowadays. Therefore, the angry frustration at the childless, luckless, reticent and proper Mr. Poe. The puritanical outbursts of biographer critics protesting his awkward, disingenuous courtships after Virginia's death seem all the more hypocritical or ludicrous in light of this disappointment.

Other than digging up various graves for DNA tests, this kind of speculation only uncomfortably advances the old attacks by spiteful rivals- whose gossip is hardly to be trusted. The same, oddly personal fury by certain biographers seems to have that same "moral" tone

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

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