(10.14) From the Providence Athenaeum,
David Dvorchak of AS220, hosts this afternoon of horror with us, featuring a full length film and short films inspired by our favorite author of mystery and horror Edgar Allen Poe. What better place to get in touch with your inner Poe than the alcoves of the Athenaeum. This program is presented by the Children’s Library and is intended for a YA audience and adults. Due to licensing restrictions, we cannot list the films being shown.
Mr. Dvorchak adds,
Yes, we’re all Lovecraft-crazy here in Providence, but let us not overlook the fact that one of H.P.’s biggest influences, American literary heavyweight and all-around creep guy, Edgar Allan Poe frequented our fair city and spent time at the fourth-oldest library in the country! It was here that Poe met and courted local poet Sarah Helen Whitman (it didn’t work out).
More about the ill-fated love story after the jump.
Free and open to the public, Poe Film Fest, 1pm, Sunday, October 14, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street
(From the Athenaeum website.)
The Athenaeum was the backdrop for several turning points in the romance between Edgar Allan Poe and Sarah Helen Whitman. A lifelong resident of Providence, Whitman was considered one of the best female poets of America and enjoyed an almost three-quarters of a century relationship with the Athenaeum.
Greatly admiring the writings of one another long before they had corresponded or met, Poe, on a visit to Providence, saw Whitman for the first time in her rose garden behind her house on Benefit Street. Poe later claimed that it was upon this first glance of Whitman that he fell in love with her.
The two would visit the Athenaeum together during their brief yet intense courtship. The relationship even met its end among the alcoves of the library. On December 23, 1848, Poe and Whitman were visiting the Athenaeum when an unnamed someone handed her a note that said Poe had broken his promise and had been drinking again. Whitman immediately called off the wedding, left the library and rushed back to her house.
The two would never see each other again and Poe was dead within a year. Whitman would live for almost thirty more years, continuing to spend much
of her time at the Athenaeum.