Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Swimming,” Southern Literary Messenger, vol. I, no. 9, May 1835, 1:468


[page 468, column 2, continued:]


Some of our readers will doubtless remember an allusion in the tale of “The Doom” to an individual who performed the feat of swimming across the James, at the falls above this city. A valuable correspondent, who was the bold swimmer alluded to, writes us as follows:

“I noticed the allusion in the Doom. The writer seems to compare my swim with that of Lord Byron, whereas there can be no comparison between them. Any swimmer “in the falls” in my days, would have swum the Hellespont, and thought nothing of the matter. I swam from Ludlam's wharf to Warwick, (six miles,) in a hot June sun, against one of the strongest tides ever known in the river. It would have been a feat comparatively easy to swim twenty miles in still water. I would not think much of attempting to swim the British Channel from Dover to Calais.”




The brief comment by Poe is taken from his letter to T. W. White of April 30, 1835. “The Doom’ was a tale printed in the Southern Literary Messenger in the issue of January 1835.


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