Friday, October 30, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe

On one of the many home school groups that I joined, someone organized a tour of the Edgar Allan Poe exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center on the UT campus. I will just tell you right now, David calls me a book nerd, and it's probably true (well, no probably about it, I am). I have LOVED Edgar Allan Poe since I read The Tell-Tale Heart in middle school. His poems and stories are creepy and I love them all! So when I heard about this exhibit, I was in, and hey, I can drag the kids along and call it a home school trip! Even better! To prepare, I read them some of Poe's tamer works this week, Annabelle Lee, and The Raven. They sat there with this glazed over look in their eyes. I don't think they like it as much as I do, but hey, one day they will look back on this with fondness, right?

So we get to the Ransom Center, first stop on our Docent-guided tour is one of only 4 original Gutenberg Bibles in the US (only around 40 complete Bibles still exist at all). The story of how they were made and seeing it there, was incredible. Maybe because my dad used to be a printer, and I'm familiar somewhat with the printing process, it was very neat to see one of the original printed works.

Then we also saw the very first photograph ever made, but yawn...I was ready to see some Poe stuff. They had his actual writing desk, a locket of his hair, and my favorite, an original manuscript of The Raven, which he sold for only $10 back then! (This is Riley next to it)

They had letters he wrote criticizing other authors, love letters and poems to his many girlfriends, and some of his own books that belonged to him. Very fascinating, and the kids even managed to appreciate some of it, like the wall that had a heartbeat right next to an illustrated section of The Tell-Tale Heart. That freaked them out!

I have to remember that we have so many little museums around here, and with the University here, we occasionally get some really cool stuff. I'm sure the kids can't wait to check out the next exhibit, Frida Kahlo. Maybe I'll spare them.

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