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Edgar Allan Poe Meets Sarah Hale

ISSUE:  Spring 1992

One would assume a difference in temperments.
Their introduction likely took place at a lit’ry salon,
common in their day—Poe looking past her
at the punchbowl—or possibly they met at the office of
Godey’s Lady’s Magazine, of which Sarah Hale
was an editor and for which
she purchased several stories (including
the justly famous “The Purloined Letter”) and sketches.
Because she knew—everybody knew—he needed cash
she paid him less than other authors,
knowing he’d take it. Business.
Nevertheless, Poe thought highly
enough of Hale to write: “. . . a lady of fine genius
and masculine energy and ability.”
Was he aware of his patronizing? Unlikely.
Was he being obsequious? More likely.
He needed the money, being a drunk
and with a large laudanum habit.
Sarah Hale wrote a poem we all know.
The same is true for Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.


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