Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
Yes, in the time of Poe, Carroll and many of the others, if the girl's parents consented, it was considered above-board.

The real Alice's parents didn't consent. Nor did the real Annabel Lee's parents.

Annabel Lee's parents went so far as to hide the girl's grave after she died of typhoid. (Or something... I forget, exactly.) Poe wrote the poem "Annabel Lee" to taunt the girl's parents after he found out the location of the grave in Charleston, SC.

As mentioned, we also have Carroll's letters "begging" for permission to see Alice again.

Back in the day, this was considered scandalous but not illegal unless a person violated the parent's wishes.

Today, both Poe and Carroll would probably have to register as sex offenders.
This is a long thread which I have not read right to the end so apologies if this has already been posted. Poes wife, Virgina, was 13 when she married Poe and he was 27. I assume that the marriage service was conducted by a Parson and the licence was issued by a Justice of the Peace (I'm not up on US Marriage Law). I don't recall reading of any parental oppostition to the match. Virginia died of TB at the tragically young age of 24 and is cited as one of the possible inspirations for the poem Annabel Lee. Such a marriage is, rightly, illegal today but obviously not in the Mid 1800s.