The inspiration behind the High Bridge lithograph can be traced back to a widely circulated tale that emerged after Poe’s death in October 1849.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Final Day The Legend Behind the High Bridge Lithograph by Rosenmeyer
According to the legend, on the day before his demise, witnesses at the time stated that they saw Poe wandering the streets of Baltimore in a disoriented state.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding his appearance led to speculations about the events that transpired during his final hours.
As the story goes, Poe boarded a train in Richmond, Virginia, intending to travel to his home in New York City. However, instead of reaching his destination, he inexplicably ended up in Baltimore.
Disoriented and suffering from the effects of alcohol, the desperate poet walked aimlessly along the streets before his untimely death.
The legend of Poe’s final day paints a grim picture of a tormented soul, haunted by personal demons.
Speculations about the cause of his death have ranged from alcohol poisoning to opium overdose and even foul play.
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Adding to the intrigue, the lithograph by Bernard J. Rosenmeyer captures Poe’s ghostly presence on the High Bridge, perpetuating the perception of his restless spirit wandering even in death.
Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy has endured for over a century, elevating him to the status of an iconic literary figure.
His works, including “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” continue to captivate readers with their dark themes and psychological depth.
Poe’s fascination with death, sorrow, and the unknown has often been attributed to the tragedies he endured throughout his life. The loss of loved ones and a tumultuous career.
While the legend of Poe’s final day remains a compelling narrative, historical records and credible accounts offer an alternative perspective.
According to recent research, some aspects of the popular tale might have been exaggerated or misinterpreted over time.
Contemporary accounts reveal that Poe’s last days were more mundane than the legend suggests. He was indeed traveling from Richmond to New York but likely stopped in Baltimore intentionally to pursue a writing opportunity.
Furthermore, medical records indicate that Poe may have succumbed to the effects of a brain lesion rather than alcohol or drugs.