Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 09:16 UK

Second send-off for US writer Poe


US writer Poe is given a second send-off

US writer Edgar Allan Poe has been honoured with a second funeral service, 160 years after his death.

Many fans of the author gathered in Baltimore for the commemoration, which also saw a replica casket pass through the city to his original burial ground.

Hundreds acted as mourners dressed in period costume at the service in Westminster Hall.

Poe died penniless at the age of 40 in 1849, and only a handful of people attended his original funeral.

The original service is said to have lasted only three minutes, while the news of his death was not announced to the world.

Poe's replica casket, which contained a mannequin of the writer's body, had been visited by many fans leading up to the funeral.

His packed-out service - which took place twice to deal with demand - contained various musical performances and eulogies which did not take place the first time around.

The send-off was one of various events to mark the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allen Poe's birth.

Poe - credited as the inventor of the detective story and creator of horror writing - is one of the most influential American writers ever.

His tombstone was destroyed and a scathing obituary, written by literary adversary Rufus Wilmot Griswold, damaged his reputation for decades.

For many years, the anniversary of his birth has been marked by the so-called Poe Toaster, a mysterious visitor who leaves three roses and some cognac on his tombstone.

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