Born In: Boston, Massachusetts
Died On: 7 October 1849
Education: Studied Language from the University of Virginia
Career: Poet, Short-story Writer, Editor & Literary Critic
Better known as an American poet, Edgar Allan Poe was born on 19 January 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides being a novel poet, Poe was also a short-story writer, editor and literary critic. His radical works made him considered as a component of American Romantic Movement. Edgar, who invented the detective-fiction genre, was amongst the initial American practitioners (short story). He is notable for his stories of mystery and the macabre, and is a contributor to the up-and-coming genre of science fiction. Poe was the first eminent American writer, who made an attempt to earn a living by writing only, ensuing a monetarily difficult life and career.
Edgar was born to actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe in Boston. He had two siblings, William Henry Leonard Poe and Rosalie Poe. However, his father abandoned his family in 1810 and mother died of consumption, a year later. John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant from Richmond, took Poe to his home and gave him the name ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ though he never adopted him formally. Poe was baptized by the Allan Family in the Episcopal Church in 1812.
He went to England in 1815 with his foster family and attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland. Then, went to London and studied at a boarding school in Chelsea. In 1820, his family moved to Richmond, and Poe joined the University of Virginia to study languages in 1826. In between, Allan stopped giving him enough money, and finally Poe gave up studies after one year. In 1827, he traveled to Boston and tried to sustain himself by working as a clerk and newspaper writer for a brief period.
Not being able to support himself, Poe got registered in the United States Army in 1827. During his short military career, he wrote his first book, Tamerlane and other Poems, ascribed only as “by a Bostonian”. In 1829, Poe published another book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in Baltimore. In 1831, he published his third volume of poetry, named Poems, in New York. After his brother’s death in the same year, he started more sincere attempts to begin his career as a writer.
He switched to publishing only to receive meager amounts from publishers. After few attempts at poetry, he focused his attention to prose and spent some subsequent years working for literary journals and periodicals. He became famous for his own style of literary criticism. For his work, he had to move in several cities, such as, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York City.
When he returned to Baltimore in 1835, he secretly married his cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm, who was just 13-year old.
In 1836, Poe disclosed his marriage and had a wedding ceremony in public. Within two years of their marriage, Virginia died of tuberculosis. Her sad demise was a great setback for Poe; perhaps she had been the inspiration for many of his poems. In 1845, Poe published his poem The Raven, which was an instant success. He started planning to publish his own journal, The Penn (shortly renamed The Stylus), though he died before his journal could be published.
On 7 October 1849, Poe died in Baltimore probably due to excessive consumption of alcohol, and other problems. In the United States and the world as well, Poe’s literary works have influenced English literature, and specialized fields, like cosmology and cryptography. His works come into sight throughout in literature, music, films, and television. In the present day, many of his homes have been turned into dedicated museums.
- The Black Cat
- The Cask of Amontillado
- The Fall of the House of Usher
- The Gold-Bug
- The Man of the Crowd
- The Masque of the Red Death
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue
- The Pit and the Pendulum
- The Purloined Letter
- The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Oblong Box
- The Premature Burial
- The Oval Portrait
- A Dream Within A Dream
- Annabel Lee
- The Bells
- The City in the Sea
- The Conqueror Worm
- The Haunted Palace
- The Raven
- The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)
- The Balloon-Hoax (1844)
- The Philosophy of Composition (1846)
- Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848)