Edgar Allan Poe
by Amy Little
What was Edgar's childhood like?
Edgar was born as Edgar Poe to two struggling actors. Edgar's father abandoned him and his family in 1810, and his mother died a year later from sickness. As an orphan, Edgar was adopted by the Allan family. They gave him the name Edgar Allan Poe. His first family,the Poe's, was dirt poor. On the contrary, the Allan's were well-to-do. Edgar's foster-father, John Allan, was a successful merchant. He aggressively disciplined Poe and Poe learned to hate him very much. Later in Poe's life, he gets into major debt and Mr. Allan doesn't help him at all.
"I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty." -Edgar A. Poe
What were some influential events in Poe's life?
Edgar grew up in Britain, and attended school there for 5 years, then left his family and everything familiar to go to America for further schooling in 1820. He was 11 years old. At 18, Poe enlisted in the army. There, he did very well and achieved the position of Commander in Chief. After his mothers death in 1829, Poe applied to West Point. In 1831, he deliberately gets kicked out. In 1834, John Allan dies and leaves Edgar nothing in the will. Then, two years later, as a 23-year-old, he married his 14-year-old cousin, Virginia. After 11 fairly pleasant years of marriage, Virginia dies, and Poe writes, The Poetic Principle.
Was Poe educated?
Yes. Edgar studied abroad with the University of Virginia to study ancient and modern languages. The university was virtually brand new, so there was a high dropout rate and virtually no rules, a lot of freedom. Because of that, Poe developed a gambling problem there and was in major debt. He only stayed at the university for a year. After the University of Virginia, he attended the Academy of William Burke in 1823. In 1829, Poe attended West Point, and got kicked out in 1831.
"It will be found,in fact, that the ingenius are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic." -Edgar Allan Poe
What was Poe like as an author?
Poe wasn't very successful when he first started. He wasn't popular at all, and most people found his genre disgusting. For a pseudonym, Poe used the name Henri Le Rennet. In 1838, he released his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, and received virtually no attention. His major ambition was to have his own journal, which he never achieved. He made countless literary enemies, and was ignored mostly about his odd genre.
How/ when did Poe die?
Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7,1849 at the age of 40. His cause of death is unknown. There are many, many theories behind his death, but here are the facts; he was found on the streets, delirious, and "in need of urgent care". The information of his whereabouts prior to his death is questionable. Dr. John Moran's credibility is also questionable. The most commonly accepted COD includes suicide, murder, cholera, rabies, syphilis, and the flu. Suicide is mostly supported because when Poe's wife, Virginia, died, he attempted suicide.
What did Edgar Allan Poe accomplish?
Overall, Poe published an unknown number of books. The most commonly accepted amount is 70 poems, 66 short stories, 9 essays, 1 complete novel, and 1 play. He is credited to inventing the detective genre, science fiction, and the classic gothic tale. Poe was very intelligent. He could solve cryptographs very well, and he made a large impact on the growth and development of the graphs. He went from job to job, and had occupations in the army, magazines, editing jobs, and being a literary lecturer. Poe was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1910. Poe made a large impact on the way the literary world works to this day.