Digital illustration of a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe: Was Mary Rogers his Muse or his Murder Victim?

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Poe and Mary

After the death of Mary, one of her former clients, Edgar Allan Poe, created Marie Roget , the sad protagonist of a story titled The Mystery of Marie Roget : the second tale in which Poe’s detective character named C. Auguste Dupin  appears. This character is believed to have been the basis for the arguably more famous detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  - Sherlock Holmes .

Silhouette of the statue of Sherlock Holmes located on Baker Street, London.

Silhouette of the statue of Sherlock Holmes located on Baker Street, London. This famous fictional detective was almost certainly inspired by C. Auguste Dupin, who starred in some of the stories by Edgar Allan Poe. ( Flickr)

By then Poe, who had recently published The Murders in the Rue Morgue , began writing his next book on the interesting story that was being created around the second disappearance and subsequent death of Mary Rogers. Poe set his story in Paris and changed the names, but did not change the basic details. He wanted to apply the reasoning ability of C. Auguste Dupin and, if all went as planned, the story would be an opportunity to achieve success and fame.

The writer's intention was that his fictional detective would discover the culprit first, but for reasons of space the narrative is divided into three parts and, before the last delivery, authorities resumed their investigations – with results that went against Dupin’s outcome. Therefore, Poe was forced to adapt his conclusion to the court decision.

In Poe’s story he discusses all aspects of the real case and includes testing and data published that had appeared in leading newspapers about the murder of Mary. Such is the level of detail of his story that rumors began to emerge about whether Poe knew too much, including some data that had not been made public. The question thus followed – was Poe the culprit?

Copy of the publication Ladies Companion for November 1842 in which Poe published one of the three instalments of his story based on Mary’s murder.

Copy of the publication Ladies Companion for November 1842 in which Poe published one of the three instalments of his story based on Mary’s murder. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Unofficial stories say that three years before the murder of the beautiful clerk, Poe visited the cigar factory where she worked and was caught flirting with her just the day before the girl disappeared, for the first time, for two weeks.

Furthermore, it appears that three days before her murder, Mary was seen walking with a man whose description matched perfectly with that of Edgar Allan Poe.

The true relationship between Mary and Poe remains a mystery. What we do know is that the terrible personal experiences that marked the life of Edgar Allan Poe created a worldview in him that deeply influenced his work.

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe by Oscar Halling in the late 1860s based on a photograph from 1849.

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe by Oscar Halling in the late 1860s based on a photograph from 1849. ( Public Domain )

Featured image: Digital illustration of a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe ( Flickr)

This article was first published in Spanish at https://www.ancient-origins.es/ and has been translated with permission.

By: Mariló TA

Sources:

Edgar Allan Poe and the mystery of Mary Rogers  http://www.misteriosdelmundo.net/edgar-allan-poe-y-el-misterio-de-mary-rogers/

Edgar Allan Poe and the mystery of Mary Rogers  http://bibliotecanegra.com/curiosidades/edgar-allan-poe-y-el-misterio-de-mary-rogers-13021

Commented books: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of Mary Rogers.  http://www.elpostiguet.es/51583116

Stashower, Daniel. Edgar Allan Poe and the mystery of the beautiful cigar girl: the investigation of the horrific death of Mary Rogers. Alba Editorial. 2010.

 

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