Edgar Allen Poe

Ava Fremgen

Who was Edgar Allen Poe?

Edgar Allen Poe was a writer of the 1800's who wrote mystery and horror stories, poetry, and a novel. Even before publishing his works of terror, he wrote thousands of book reviews for magazines and newspapers.


Poe was born on January 19,1809 to Eliza Poe and David Poe, Jr. He was second of three children. His older brother, William, also became a poet before his early death. Poe's father abandoned the family and soon after Poe's family fell ill with Tuberculosis. She died at the age of 24, leaving Poe without a parent at the young age of three. He was soon taken in by a wealthy merchant John Allen.

First Works

Poe wrote poetry on the back of Allen's ledger sheets. By the time he was thirteen, Poe had written enough poetry to publish a book, thought the headmaster at Poe's school advised Allen against allowing this. About five years later, Poe did publish his first book Tamerlane when he was eighteen. Poe began writing more when Allen died and left Poe out of his will. One piece he wrote won a contest sponsored by The Southern Literary Messenger. It was at this magazine that Poe found his life's work as a magazine writer and Poe brought this magazine huge popularity.

Sickness in Poe's Life

At the age of twenty-seven, Poe married Virginia, who was thirteen. The marriage was said to be a happy one and Poe exclaimed the joys of marriage in his poem Eulalie. The happiness was short lived. In 1842, Virginia had caught Tuberculosis, the same disease that had killed Poe's mother, brother, and foster-mother. Virginia died at the age of twenty-four, the same age Poe's mother died.

Most Significant Works

On January 1845, the publication of The Raven made Poe a household name. He published two books later that year and bought out the owners of the Broadway Journal and began to live his dream life, but he was soon driven out of the town because of his wife's deteriorating health and rumors of a relationship with a married women.

His Mysterious Death

Poe was on his way to Philadelphia when he stopped in Baltimore. He disappeared for five days before to was found in the bar room of a public house used for public elections and in someone else's clothing. Poe was sent to a hospital in Washington were he spent the last few days of his life surrounded by strangers. His mother-in-law and fiancee knew about his state of being until they read about his death in the newspaper. No one is certain how he died, but theories include suicide, murder, cholera, rabies, and syphilis.

His Impact on the World Today

His complete understanding of fear and how to create it in his readers has influenced authors for the moment his books were published to the modern day. All authors of horror and mystery writings are still trying to recreate the mood he made in his his stories and the grasped that he had on readers everywhere.