Edgar Allan Poe’s Birthday!

Famous Victorians, Literature

Today marks the 212th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday (January 19, 1809)! đźŽ‰ The beloved American writer is best known for his gothic poems and short stories full of mystery, lost love, and macabre. He is also considered to be the father of detective fiction and contributed to the popularization of science fiction. đź¦‡

While his convoluted and tragic love life is often discussed, Poe’s early life was plagued by other misfortunes as well. Orphanated by the age of two, he was taken in by John and Frances Allan. Edgar and Allan didn’t see eye to eye and often quarreled, especially over money. Feeling unsupported by the foster father, Edgar turned to gambling to pay for his education at the University of Virginia. This plan however backfired, leaving Poe with serious debts. After begging John for money, clothes, and basic necessities numerous times, he finally had to resign from the university and joined the army under an assumed name. He was only 18 at the time.

Shopping for Arsenic

Everyday Life, Medicine

There were no regulations on buying and selling arsenic until 1851, and even then it could be relatively easy purchased by anyone who didn’t cause any suspicion. 

You can read more on arsenic and other poisons in The Secret Poisoner: The Victorian Age of Poisoning.

The Bell

Funerals, Medicine

Safety coffins designs were mostly created during the 18th and 19th centuries, when the fear of being buried alive was quite common, due to numerous epidemics and popular fiction.

This week’s comic was inspired by the first episode of Lore, “They Made a Tonic.”