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Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

Poe - Plot & Excerpts

Shew, and the false start with Mrs. Locke, had not materially affected Poe's passionate desire for female companionship. In the summer of 1848 he visited Mrs. Locke and her husband at Lowell, in Massachusetts, where he was about to deliver a lecture on “The Poets and Poetry of America.” Mrs. Locke then introduced him to a neighbour, a young woman named Annie Richmond. At a later date, in a fictional essay, he claimed that he was smitten at first sight. “As she approached, with a certain modest description of step almost indescribable, I said to myself, Surely here I have found the perfection of natural, in contradistinction from artificial grace… So intense an expression of romance, perhaps I should call it, or of unworldliness, as that which gleamed from her deep-set eyes, had never so sunk into my heart of hearts before.” Her eyes were “spiritual.” Perhaps he deemed her even capable of an early death.
After he had given his lecture he spent the rest of that evening, and much of the following day, with Annie Richmond.

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