The Dreamer

Mary Newton Stanard
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Title: The Dreamer A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe
Author: Mary Newton Stanard

Release Date: December 25, 2005 [eBook #17389]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Josephine Paolucci, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (

A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe
MARY NEWTON STANARD (Author of "The Story of Bacon's Rebellion")

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find they have been upon the verge of the great secret."
--_Edgar Allan Poe, in "Eleanora"_

Richmond, Virginia The Bell Book and Stationery Company 1909 Copyright 1909 By Mary Newton Stanard

[Illustration: THE HERMITAGE PRESS Bindery of L.H. Jenkins Richmond, Va.]

In the Sacred Memory of My Father and Mother

This study of Edgar Allan Poe, poet and man, is simply an attempt to make something like a finished picture of the shadowy sketch the biographers, hampered by the limitations of proved fact, must, at best, give us.
To this end I have used the story-teller's license to present the facts in picturesque form. Yet I believe I have told a true story--true to the spirit if not to the letter--for I think I have made Poe and the other persons of the drama do nothing they may not have done, say nothing they may not have said, feel nothing they may not have felt. In many instances the opinions, and even the words I have placed in Poe's mouth are his own--found in his published works or his letters.
I owe much, of course, to the writers of Poe books before and up to my time. Among these, I would make especial and grateful acknowledgment to Mr. J.H. Ingram, Professor George E. Woodberry, Professor James A. Harrison and Mrs. Susan Archer Weiss.
But more than to any one of his biographers, I am indebted to Poe himself for the revelations of his personality which appear in his own stories and poems, the most part of which are clearly autobiographic.

The last roses of the year 1811 were in bloom in the Richmond gardens and their petals would soon be scattered broadcast by the winds which had already stripped the trees and left them standing naked against the cold sky.
Cold indeed, it looked, through the small, smoky window, to the eyes of the young and beautiful woman who lay dying of hectic fever in a dark, musty room back of the shop of Mrs. Fipps, the milliner, in lower Main Street--cold and friendless and drear.
She was still beautiful, though the sparkle in the great eyes fixed upon the bleak sky had given place to deep melancholy and her face was pinched and wan.
She knew that she was dying. Meanwhile, her appearance as leading lady of Mr. Placide's company of high class players was flauntingly announced by newspaper and bill-board.
The advertisement had put society in a flutter; for Elizabeth Arnold Poe was a favorite with the public not only for her graces of person and personality, her charming acting, singing and dancing, but she had that incalculable advantage for an actress--an appealing life-story. It was known that she had lately lost a dearly loved and loving husband whom she had tenderly nursed through a distressing illness. It was also known that the husband had been a descendant of a proud old family and that the same high spirit which had led his grandfather, General Poe, passionately denouncing British tyranny, to join the Revolutionary Army, had, taking a different turn with the grandson, made him for the sake of the gifted daughter of old England who had captured his heart--actress though she was--sever home ties, abandon the career chosen for him by his parents, and devote himself to the profession of which she was a chief ornament. A brief five years of idylic happiness the pair had spent together--happiness in spite of much work and some tears;--then David Poe had succumbed to consumption, leaving a penniless widow with three children to support. The eldest, a boy, was adopted by his father's relatives in Baltimore. The other two--a boy of three years in whom were blended the spirit, the beauty, the talent and the ardent nature of both parents, and a soft-eyed, cooing baby girl--were clinging about their mother whenever she was seen off the stage, making a
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