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article imageEdgar Allan Poe funeral set for Sunday

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By Kevin Jess     Oct 7, 2009 in Arts
Considered one of the 19th century's greatest writers, Edgar Allan Poe will finally receive a funeral befitting a person of his stature.
The distinguished American poet who was impoverished before he died, was found delirious and distressed outside a Baltimore tavern after leaving Richmond, Virginia a week before. He never regained his senses enough to relay what had happened to him.
He died four days later in hospital on October 7, 1849.
Fewer than 10 people attended Poe's original funeral 160 years ago.
The funeral itself was hastily prepared, and Poe's cousin, Neilson Poe, never formally announced his death.
His funeral was plagued from the beginning when a train derailed, crashing into the stonecutter's yard, destroying Poe's tombstone before it could be installed. Also, Rufus Griswold, an enemy of Poe's, wrote a libelous obituary that damaged Poe's reputation for many years to come.
This Sunday, in probably the splashiest of events marking the 200th birthday of the famous writer, his funeral will be held again, this time in a fashion befitting a man recognized as one of America's greatest writers.
Two services are planned at the former church next to his actual grave. Each service will allow 350 guests, the most that the church will hold.
A replica of Poe's body will lie in state at the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore for a public viewing today and will be taken to the funeral on Sunday by an antique horse drawn hearse. Tickets for the viewing are $5 each.
Advance tickets for the funeral are sold out with visitors coming from as far away as Vietnam. The event will feature actors portraying Poe’s contemporaries and other long-dead writers and artists who will pay their respects, reading eulogies adapted from their writings about Poe, reports Associated Press.
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