Edgar Allan Poe January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
Horror Genre Poe was an American poet, short-story writer, editor, and literary critic. He is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Poe is best know for his tales of mystery and macabre.
His Life He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston. Poe's parents died when he was young. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, VA, but they never formally adopted him. At the age of five Poe could recite passages of English poetry. Later one of his teachers in Richmond said: "While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry; the boy was a born poet." By the age of twelve, he had written enough poetry to fill a small book. The early publication is now worth over $200,000 at auction. He became estranged from his foster father after accumulating gambling debts. Unable to pay them or support himself, Poe left school and enlisted in the United States Army where he served for two years. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
Early Military Career • In Boston on May 26, 1827, Poe enlisted in The United States Army as a private using the name Edgar A. Perry. After two years of service, during which he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-major, he secured, with Mr. Allan's aid, a discharge from the Army and went to Baltimore. He lived there with his aunt, Mrs. Maria Poe Clemm, on the small amounts of money sent by Mr. Allan until he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Poe’s Marriage • He married his cousin Virginia when she was only 13 years old. Virginia became very ill and died on January 30, 1847. After his wife's death, Poe perhaps yielded more often to a weakness for drink, which had beset him at intervals since early manhood. He was unable to take even a little alcohol without a change of personality, and any excess was accompanied by physical prostration.
Prior to Poe’s writing, horror stories were rather tame. Poe’s imagination/ pain was so intense, that future generations still can “enjoy” his timeless creations.
He finally achieved immensely popular fame through the publication of “The Raven” (for which he received $14) on Feb. 8, 1845. He wrote it prior to wife Virginia’s death. However, it is based on his grief he expects to feel upon her death.
Poe’s publications include: The Fall of the House of Usher The Tell-tale Heart The Black Cat The Masque of the Red Death The Cask of Amontillado
ANNABEL LEE It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
The circumstances of Poe's death remain a mystery. After a visit to Norfolk and Richmond for lectures, he was found in Baltimore in a pitiable condition in the gutter. He was taken unconscious to a hospital where he died four days later on Sunday, October 7, 1849. His death was sudden and mysterious at age 40. Modern scientists concluded that he might have been suffering from an alcohol allergy.
He was buried in the yard of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.