The Raven is one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most impressive works, a long narrative poem centered on a talking raven that makes a nocturnal visit to a distraught lover, who is mourning the death of his beloved Lenore. Noted for its seamless weaving of popular myth, folk tales, classical imagery, and the supernatural, the poem remains a widely acclaimed and popular classic.However, Poe’s raven has a little known and significant literary heritage. Historians and literary critics have long speculated that the talking bird in his famous poem was actually inspired by Charles Dickens’ own pet raven, Grip.Illustration by Édouard Manet for a French translation by Stéphane Mallarmé of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” 1875. Digitally restored.This real-life raven was responsible for spawning not one, but two literary greats, as he was also the basis for the bird depicted in Dickens’ own novel, Barnaby Rudge.According to the BBC, Dickens was particularly fond of birds and owned several pet ravens, all affectionately named Grip.His first and favorite bird had a distinctive, imperious character, and would frequently harass Dickens’ children and other pets, nipping their ankles.Dickens in New York, 1867.Dickens was fascinated by Grip, and resolved to include him in his next novel.In 1841, he published Barnaby Rudge, and indeed, the title character was constantly accompanied by a talking pet raven, which was far more intelligent than the man himself.Dickens widely acknowledged that the character was based on his own bird, which had unfortunately died shortly before the publication of the novel.The Raven depicts a mysterious raven’s midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).Dickens was deeply saddened by Grip’s death, and continued to acquire birds; first an eagle, and then two more ravens in succession, both also named Grip.The third Grip had an even more distinctive and domineering character than the first, and was even able to keep the family dog, a bullmastiff named Turk, under control.Turk would sit patiently as Grip helped himself to all of the best pieces of meat from the dog’s dinner plate.Cropped photograph of Charles Dickens.According to the BBC, it was around this time that Dickens and Poe became acquainted. Poe had written an approving review of Barnaby Rudge, and the two arranged to meet when Dickens and his wife were on tour in the United States.Reportedly, Poe saw a picture of Grip that Dickens carried with him, and was delighted to learn that the bird he had admired in Barnaby Rudge was based on a real-life animal.Portrait of Poe by William Abbot Pratt from September 1849, a month before his death.Shortly after, Poe composed his most notable work, a narrative poem with an imperious raven at its heart. The main character, a love-struck and sorrowful young man, is struck by the visitation of a raven, whose croaking refrain, “Nevermore,” simply adds to his grief.Although Poe never stated it explicitly, it is widely thought that The Raven is based on Dickens’ bird.Manet’s illustration of the raven flying through the window.The disdainful character of the bird, described as standing proudly on the window ledge, perfectly matches the raven belonging to Barnaby Rudge, and thus, to Dickens’ own bird. Poe’s raven is also seen tapping at the window, just as the raven in Barnaby Rudge had been prone to do.Soon after the poem’s publication, other readers and literary critics also noted the similarity, with some even accusing Poe of plagiarism. Always a controversial character, Poe attracted a considerable amount of criticism and ridicule from his literary peers.Original burial spot of Edgar Allan Poe in Westminster Burial Ground, Baltimore. Photo by JefferyGoldman CC BY-SA 4.0In 1848 the writer James Russell Lowell wrote, “Here comes Poe with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge / Three-fifths of him genius, two fifths sheer fudge.” Poe’s sad and untimely death just one year later cemented his legacy, and The Raven remains his best-known and most-loved work.When the original Grip died, Dickens was so upset that he had him stuffed by a taxidermist and kept him in his office, allowing him to keep watching over the family.Read another story from us: Nevermore…The Unanswered Questions Surrounding the Final Days of Edgar Allan PoeAfter Dickens’ death he was sold at auction and is now a permanent resident at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Books department. A fitting end for a bird that inspired not one, but two literary geniuses.
Facebook Comments The passion most Ticos have for football has officials at the Social Security System worried. Last week the Caja issued an order to all doctors at public hospitals to restrict permission for sick days throughout the month. Apparently employees’ health tends to deteriorate during the World Cup.And after Costa Rica’s shocking 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Saturday, the number of workers suffering from World Cup fever might only increase. Costa Rica’s next two matches are on weekdays, starting with Italy on Friday.The executive branch did grant permission for public employees to watch the games against Italy on Friday and England on June 24. (Both matches start at 10 a.m.) The decree applies to all public employees as long as it does not affect essential services such as public health, education or security.For private employees, it all depends on how nice bosses are. Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez last week said employers – if they so choose – can rearrange schedules to allow employees to watch the matches. But given Costa Rica’s stellar performance in the upset against Uruguay, forbidding Ticos from watching the next match could lead to workplace mutiny.In June 2010, during the previous World Cup in South Africa, the Caja registered 113,000 sick-day notes – about 7,000 more than the monthly average and the highest figure that year. And Costa Rica didn’t even qualify that time around.Those sick days during the 2010 World Cup cost the public health system ₡3.4 billion ($6.1 million), according to Caja officials.This year, the agency has strengthened controls and instructed all doctors to be meticulous when authorizing sick leave. The warning also was made to private practices that authorize public employees to take days off.The Caja’s 129 medical commissions at public hospitals can revoke any permit issued by a private doctor, and charges will be filed at the Prosecutors’ Office against any employee and doctor found to have committed fraud, officials said last week.The Caja also bans doctors from granting more than two consecutive doctor’s notes in cases of mild illness or unjustified emergency room visits.Jiménez said public workers should rearrange schedules to prevent disrupting public services, and the decree does not allow employees to skip work. Costa Rica’s labor legislation states that employers can fire without liability any employee who leaves work without permission or a valid excuse. Related posts:Fewer sick days granted during 2014 World Cup after stricter regulations enforced Public workers can take recess to watch Costa Rica’s World Cup games, Solís says With focus on next round, winning Group D less of a priority, says Wanchope In Costa Rica, pride for La Sele’s historic World Cup play