Alright. This sort of blew my mind. According to Atlas Obscura, Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven was inspired by Charles Dickens’s pet raven, named Grip, which Dickens had professionally taxidermied and mounted after its death.
Wait, there’s more. Poe wasn’t even the first person to write about Grip. Dickens was. The raven appears in Dickens’s story Barnaby Rudge, which was reviewed by (then literary critic) Poe.
Poe’s The Raven was written and published shortly there after.
The best part about all of this is that, today, Grip is displayed in the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department, alongside of Poe’s and Dickens’s original works, not to mention other rare books.
So, let’s see here, we have a taxidermy raven. Check. Rare books by Poe. Check. Rare works by Dickens. Check. How Poe was influenced by Dickens. Check. They two writers met in Philadelphia (but that isn’t where Poe wrote The Raven). Check.
This is too amazing. My head might explode.
Check Grip out for yourself.