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Pages from Pequot: Poe and Witches--Gazing at the Dark Side

Saturday, October 01, 2016, 10:00am
To Thursday, December 01, 2016

poe and witches collagePages from Pequot: Poe and Witches--Gazing at the Dark Side features items from Pequot Library's Special Collections. The exhibit will run from October 1 - December 1, 2016. It is open during normal library hours, admission is free.

Opening Reception: October 8, 2016, 5pm - 7pm.

View early editions by Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) from the Library's Special Collections of rare books and manuscripts, plus 17th and 18th century writings by Cotton and Increase Mather about witchcraft in New England. The exhibit also includes works by contemporary artists Jakob Crane on loan from the Fairfield Museum and History Center, as well as several Poe items on loan from rare book collector Susan Jaffe Tane.

In this 21st century world where Goth and zombies have recently dominated film, literature, and music, Pequot Library takes a look back in time to when irritating your neighbor could get you tried as a witch and ravens occupied the creative mind of one of our most unique poets. In the rich expanse of Pequot’s collections, we find that Fairfield witch trials took place in the 1650s – with dire consequences – some forty years before the more publicized Salem ones.

Thanks to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, we discover much darker materials than ever imagined by Stephen King or Anne Rice. The exhibit aims to illustrate how human imagination deals with the wonder and mystery of its time period. These two themes, from separate times in America’s formation, are brought to life thanks to the materials found in Pequot’s Special Collections for a closer look at the dark side of their times.

Included in the exhibit:

The wonders of the invisible world by Cotton Mather
London: Printed first, at Bostun [!] in New-England, and reprinted at London, for John Dunton, at the Raven in the Poultry, 1693

Tale of the Grotesque and Arabesque, in two volumes, dedicated by Poe to Colonel William Drayton of Philadelphia. by Edgar Allan Poe
Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1840

The Raven, illustrated by Gustave Doré by Edgar Allan Poe
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1884

Poe's Poems Little Blue Book No. 32; Edited, with an Introduction, by Nelson Antrim Crawford
by Edgar Allan Poe
Girard, KS: Haldeman-Julius Company, 1924

These special materials have never been on view at Pequot Library and provide a unique opportunity for the community to learn more about Poe and his brilliant work.

For this exhibit, Pequot will “bring home” a few of the most historic treasures about witches that are held at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in New Haven.

Related programming:

This exhibit is made possible in part through a generous gift in memory of Richard M. Carpenter and by the Constance C. Baker Rare Book Fund. We appreciate the loan made by the Fairfield Museum and Historical Center of graphic art panels by Jakob Crane from “Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials,” an exhibit curated by Dr. Elizabeth Rose. We are grateful for several Poe items on loan from rare book collector Susan Jaffe Tane. We thank Professor Jamison Odone for the loan of his original drawings of Poe’s "Annabel Lee." We gratefully acknowledge the support and efforts of Pequot Library volunteers and staff.

Location : Exhibit Cases in Reading Room and The Perkin Gallery
Contact : (203) 259-0346 ext. 15