Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) MP 100

‹ Back to Poe surname

Is your surname Poe?

Research the Poe family

Edgar Allan Poe's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Nicknames: "Eddy", "A Bostonian", "Edgar Perry", "Edgar Allen Poe", "Little Eddie", "Eddie", "Ed"
Birthplace: Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Death: Died in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Occupation: Poet, short-story writer, editor, literary critic, Author
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. 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.

He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned young when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him.

He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian".

Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.[3]

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.

Early life He was born Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809, the second child of actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. He had an elder brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, Rosalie Poe.[4] Edgar may have been named after a character in William Shakespeare's King Lear, a play the couple was performing in 1809.[5] His father abandoned their family in 1810,[6] and his mother died a year later from consumption. Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia, who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves.[7] The Allans served as a foster family and gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe",[8] though they never formally adopted him.[9]

The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son.[8] The family, including Poe and Allan's wife, Frances Valentine Allan, sailed to Britain in 1815. Poe attended the grammar school in Irvine, Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. There he studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer 1817. He was subsequently entered at the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at Stoke Newington, then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London.[10]

Poe moved back with the Allans to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In 1824 Poe served as the lieutenant of the Richmond youth honor guard as Richmond celebrated the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette.[11] In March 1825, John Allan's uncle[12] and business benefactor William Galt, said to be one of the wealthiest men in Richmond, died and left Allan several acres of real estate. The inheritance was estimated at $750,000. By summer 1825, Allan celebrated his expansive wealth by purchasing a two-story brick home named Moldavia.[13] Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one-year-old University of Virginia in February 1826 to study languages.[14] The university, in its infancy, was established on the ideals of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. It had strict rules against gambling, horses, guns, tobacco and alcohol, but these rules were generally ignored. Jefferson had enacted a system of student self-government, allowing students to choose their own studies, make their own arrangements for boarding, and report all wrongdoing to the faculty. The unique system was still in chaos, and there was a high dropout rate.[15] During his time there, Poe lost touch with Royster and also became estranged from his foster father over gambling debts. Poe claimed that Allan had not given him sufficient money to register for classes, purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan did send additional money and clothes, but Poe's debts increased.[16] Poe gave up on the university after a year, and, not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart Royster had married Alexander Shelton, he traveled to Boston in April 1827, sustaining himself with odd jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer.[17] At some point he started using the pseudonym Henri Le Rennet.[18]

Military career Unable to support himself, on May 27, 1827, Poe enlisted in the United States Army as a private. Using the name "Edgar A. Perry", he claimed he was 22 years old even though he was 18.[19] He first served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor for five dollars a month.[17] That same year, he released his first book, a 40-page collection of poetry, Tamerlane and Other Poems, attributed with the byline "by a Bostonian". Only 50 copies were printed, and the book received virtually no attention.[20] Poe's regiment was posted to Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina and traveled by ship on the brig Waltham on November 8, 1827. Poe was promoted to "artificer", an enlisted tradesman who prepared shells for artillery, and had his monthly pay doubled.[21] After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant Major for Artillery (the highest rank a noncommissioned officer can achieve), Poe sought to end his five-year enlistment early. He revealed his real name and his circumstances to his commanding officer, Lieutenant Howard. Howard would only allow Poe to be discharged if he reconciled with John Allan and wrote a letter to Allan, who was unsympathetic. Several months passed and pleas to Allan were ignored; Allan may not have written to Poe even to make him aware of his foster mother's illness. Frances Allan died on February 28, 1829, and Poe visited the day after her burial. Perhaps softened by his wife's death, John Allan agreed to support Poe's attempt to be discharged in order to receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.[22]

Poe finally was discharged on April 15, 1829, after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him.[23] Before entering West Point, Poe moved back to Baltimore for a time, to stay with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm (Poe's first cousin), his brother Henry, and his invalid grandmother Elizabeth Cairnes Poe.[24] Meanwhile, Poe published his second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in Baltimore in 1829.[25]

Poe traveled to West Point and matriculated as a cadet on July 1, 1830.[26] In October 1830, John Allan married his second wife, Louisa Patterson.[27] The marriage, and bitter quarrels with Poe over the children born to Allan out of affairs, led to the foster father finally disowning Poe.[28] Poe decided to leave West Point by purposely getting court-martialed. On February 8, 1831, he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes, or church. Poe tactically pled not guilty to induce dismissal, knowing he would be found guilty.[29]

He left for New York in February 1831, and released a third volume of poems, simply titled Poems. The book was financed with help from his fellow cadets at West Point, many of whom donated 75 cents to the cause, raising a total of $170. They may have been expecting verses similar to the satirical ones Poe had been writing about commanding officers.[30] Printed by Elam Bliss of New York, it was labeled as "Second Edition" and included a page saying, "To the U.S. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated." The book once again reprinted the long poems "Tamerlane" and "Al Aaraaf" but also six previously unpublished poems including early versions of "To Helen", "Israfel", and "The City in the Sea".[31] He returned to Baltimore, to his aunt, brother and cousin, in March 1831. His elder brother Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died on August 1, 1831.[32]

Publishing career After his brother's death, Poe began more earnest attempts to start his career as a writer. He chose a difficult time in American publishing to do so.[33] He was the first well-known American to try to live by writing alone[2][34] and was hampered by the lack of an international copyright law.[35] Publishers often pirated copies of British works rather than paying for new work by Americans.[34] The industry was also particularly hurt by the Panic of 1837.[36] Despite a booming growth in American periodicals around this time period, fueled in part by new technology, many did not last beyond a few issues[37] and publishers often refused to pay their writers or paid them much later than they promised.[38] Poe, throughout his attempts to live as a writer, had to repeatedly resort to humiliating pleas for money and other assistance.[39]

Poe married his 13-year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. Her early death may have inspired some of his writing.

After his early attempts at poetry, Poe had turned his attention to prose. He placed a few stories with a Philadelphia publication and began work on his only drama, Politian. The Baltimore Saturday Visiter awarded Poe a prize in October 1833 for his short story "MS. Found in a Bottle".[40] The story brought him to the attention of John P. Kennedy, a Baltimorian of considerable means. He helped Poe place some of his stories, and introduced him to Thomas W. White, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe became assistant editor of the periodical in August 1835,[41] but was discharged within a few weeks for being caught drunk by his boss.[42] Returning to Baltimore, Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin, on September 22, 1835. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21.[43] Reinstated by White after promising good behavior, Poe went back to Richmond with Virginia and her mother. He remained at the Messenger until January 1837. During this period, Poe claimed that its circulation increased from 700 to 3,500.[4] He published several poems, book reviews, critiques, and stories in the paper. On May 16, 1836, he had a second wedding ceremony in Richmond with Virginia Clemm, this time in public.[44]

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published and widely reviewed in 1838.[45] In the summer of 1839, Poe became assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. He published numerous articles, stories, and reviews, enhancing his reputation as a trenchant critic that he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger. Also in 1839, the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes, though he made little money off of it and it received mixed reviews.[46] Poe left Burton's after about a year and found a position as assistant at Graham's Magazine.[47]

In June 1840, Poe published a prospectus announcing his intentions to start his own journal, The Stylus.[48] Originally, Poe intended to call the journal The Penn, as it would have been based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the June 6, 1840 issue of Philadelphia's Saturday Evening Post, Poe bought advertising space for his prospectus: "Prospectus of the Penn Magazine, a Monthly Literary journal to be edited and published in the city of Philadelphia by Edgar A. Poe."[49] The journal was never produced before Poe's death. Around this time, he attempted to secure a position with the Tyler administration, claiming he was a member of the Whig Party.[50] He hoped to be appointed to the Custom House in Philadelphia with help from President Tyler's son Robert,[51] an acquaintance of Poe's friend Frederick Thomas.[52] Poe failed to show up for a meeting with Thomas to discuss the appointment in mid-September 1842, claiming to be sick, though Thomas believed he was drunk.[53] Though he was promised an appointment, all positions were filled by others.[54]

One evening in January 1842, Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis, while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat.[55] She only partially recovered. Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia's illness. He left Graham's and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post. He returned to New York, where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal and, later, sole owner.[56] There he alienated himself from other writers by publicly accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, though Longfellow never responded.[57] On January 29, 1845, his poem "The Raven" appeared in the Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly,[58] he was paid only $9 for its publication.[59] It was concurrently published in the American Review: A Whig Journal under the pseudonym "Quarles".[60]

The Broadway Journal failed in 1846.[56] Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York. That home, known today as the "Poe Cottage", is on the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Virginia died there on January 30, 1847.[61] Biographers and critics often suggest Poe's frequent theme of the "death of a beautiful woman" stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his wife.[62]

Increasingly unstable after his wife's death, Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. Their engagement failed, purportedly because of Poe's drinking and erratic behavior. However, there is also strong evidence that Whitman's mother intervened and did much to derail their relationship.[63] Poe then returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elmira Royster.[64]

Death On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker.[65] He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning.[66] Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul."[66] All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost.[67] Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as "congestion of the brain" or "cerebral inflammation", common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism.[68] The actual cause of death remains a mystery;[69] from as early as 1872, cooping was commonly believed to have been the cause,[70] and speculation has included delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, meningeal inflammation,[3] cholera[71] and rabies.[72]

Griswold's "Memoir" The day Edgar Allan Poe was buried, a long obituary appeared in the New York Tribune signed "Ludwig". It was soon published throughout the country. The piece began, "Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it."[73] "Ludwig" was soon identified as Rufus Wilmot Griswold, an editor, critic and anthologist who had borne a grudge against Poe since 1842. Griswold somehow became Poe's literary executor and attempted to destroy his enemy's reputation after his death.[74]

Rufus Griswold wrote a biographical article of Poe called "Memoir of the Author", which he included in an 1850 volume of the collected works. Griswold depicted Poe as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman and included Poe's letters as evidence.[74] Many of his claims were either lies or distorted half-truths. For example, it is now known that Poe was not a drug addict.[75] Griswold's book was denounced by those who knew Poe well,[76] but it became a popularly accepted one. This occurred in part because it was the only full biography available and was widely reprinted and in part because readers thrilled at the thought of reading works by an "evil" man.[77] Letters that Griswold presented as proof of this depiction of Poe were later revealed as forgeries.[78]

Literary style and themes Genres Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic,[79] a genre he followed to appease the public taste.[80] His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning.[81] Many of his works are generally considered part of the dark romanticism genre, a literary reaction to transcendentalism,[82] which Poe strongly disliked.[83] He referred to followers of the movement as "Frogpondians" after the pond on Boston Common.[84] and ridiculed their writings as "metaphor-run", lapsing into "obscurity for obscurity's sake" or "mysticism for mysticism's sake."[85] Poe once wrote in a letter to Thomas Holley Chivers that he did not dislike Transcendentalists, "only the pretenders and sophists among them."[86]

Beyond horror, Poe also wrote satires, humor tales, and hoaxes. For comic effect, he used irony and ludicrous extravagance, often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity.[80] In fact, "Metzengerstein", the first story that Poe is known to have published,[87] and his first foray into horror, was originally intended as a burlesque satirizing the popular genre.[88] Poe also reinvented science fiction, responding in his writing to emerging technologies such as hot air balloons in "The Balloon-Hoax".[89]

Poe wrote much of his work using themes specifically catered for mass market tastes.[90] To that end, his fiction often included elements of popular pseudosciences such as phrenology[91] and physiognomy.[92]

Literary theory Poe's writing reflects his literary theories, which he presented in his criticism and also in essays such as "The Poetic Principle".[93] He disliked didacticism[94] and allegory,[95] though he believed that meaning in literature should be an undercurrent just beneath the surface. Works with obvious meanings, he wrote, cease to be art.[96] He believed that quality work should be brief and focus on a specific single effect.[93] To that end, he believed that the writer should carefully calculate every sentiment and idea.[97] In "The Philosophy of Composition", an essay in which Poe describes his method in writing "The Raven", he claims to have strictly followed this method. It has been questioned, however, if he really followed this system. T. S. Eliot said: "It is difficult for us to read that essay without reflecting that if Poe plotted out his poem with such calculation, he might have taken a little more pains over it: the result hardly does credit to the method."[98] Biographer Joseph Wood Krutch described the essay as "a rather highly ingenious exercise in the art of rationalization".[99]

Legacy During his lifetime, Poe was mostly recognized as a literary critic. Fellow critic James Russell Lowell called him "the most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America", though he questioned if he occasionally used prussic acid instead of ink.[100] Poe was also known as a writer of fiction and became one of the first American authors of the 19th century to become more popular in Europe than in the United States.[101] Poe is particularly respected in France, in part due to early translations by Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire's translations became definitive renditions of Poe's work throughout Europe.[102]

Poe's early detective fiction tales starring the fictitious C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed.... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?"[103] The Mystery Writers of America have named their awards for excellence in the genre the "Edgars".[104] Poe's work also influenced science fiction, notably Jules Verne, who wrote a sequel to Poe's novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket called An Antarctic Mystery, also known as The Sphinx of the Ice Fields.[105] Science fiction author H. G. Wells noted, "Pym tells what a very intelligent mind could imagine about the south polar region a century ago."[106]

Like many famous artists, Poe's works have spawned innumerable imitators.[107] One interesting trend among imitators of Poe, however, has been claims by clairvoyants or psychics to be "channeling" poems from Poe's spirit. One of the most notable of these was Lizzie Doten, who in 1863 published Poems from the Inner Life, in which she claimed to have "received" new compositions by Poe's spirit. The compositions were re-workings of famous Poe poems such as "The Bells", but which reflected a new, positive outlook.[108]

Even so, Poe has received not only praise, but criticism as well. This is partly because of the negative perception of his personal character and its influence upon his reputation.[101] William Butler Yeats was occasionally critical of Poe and once called him "vulgar".[109] Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson reacted to "The Raven" by saying, "I see nothing in it"[110] and derisively referred to Poe as "the jingle man".[111] Aldous Huxley wrote that Poe's writing "falls into vulgarity" by being "too poetical"—the equivalent of wearing a diamond ring on every finger.[112]

It is believed that only 12 copies of Poe's first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, have survived. In December 2009, one copy sold at Christie's, New York for $662,500, a record price paid for a work of American literature.[113]

Physics and cosmology Eureka: A Prose Poem, an essay written in 1848, included a cosmological theory that presaged the Big Bang theory by 80 years,[114][115] as well as the first plausible solution to Olbers' paradox.[116] [117] Poe eschewed the scientific method in Eureka and instead wrote from pure intuition.[118] For this reason, he considered it a work of art, not science,[118] but insisted that it was still true[119] and considered it to be his career masterpiece.[120] Even so, Eureka is full of scientific errors. In particular, Poe's suggestions opposed Newtonian principles regarding the density and rotation of planets.[121]

Cryptography Poe had a keen interest in cryptography. He had placed a notice of his abilities in the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting submissions of ciphers, which he proceeded to solve.[122] In July 1841, Poe had published an essay called "A Few Words on Secret Writing" in Graham's Magazine. Realizing the public interest in the topic, he wrote "The Gold-Bug" incorporating ciphers as part of the story.[123] Poe's success in cryptography relied not so much on his knowledge of that field (his method was limited to the simple substitution cryptogram), as on his knowledge of the magazine and newspaper culture. His keen analytical abilities, which were so evident in his detective stories, allowed him to see that the general public was largely ignorant of the methods by which a simple substitution cryptogram can be solved, and he used this to his advantage.[122] The sensation Poe created with his cryptography stunt played a major role in popularizing cryptograms in newspapers and magazines.[124]

Poe had an influence on cryptography beyond increasing public interest in his lifetime. William Friedman, America's foremost cryptologist, was heavily influenced by Poe.[125] Friedman's initial interest in cryptography came from reading "The Gold-Bug" as a child—interest he later put to use in deciphering Japan's PURPLE code during World War II.[126]

Poe in popular culture Poe as a character The historical Edgar Allan Poe has appeared as a fictionalized character, often representing the "mad genius" or "tormented artist" and exploiting his personal struggles.[127] Many such depictions also blend in with characters from his stories, suggesting Poe and his characters share identities.[128] Often, fictional depictions of Poe use his mystery-solving skills in such novels as The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl.[129]

Preserved homes, landmarks, and museums No childhood home of Poe is still standing, including the Allan family's Moldavia estate. The oldest standing home in Richmond, the Old Stone House, is in use as the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, though Poe never lived there. The collection includes many items Poe used during his time with the Allan family and also features several rare first printings of Poe works. The dorm room Poe is believed to have used while studying at the University of Virginia in 1826 is preserved and available for visits. Its upkeep is now overseen by a group of students and staff known as the Raven Society.[130]

The earliest surviving home in which Poe lived is in Baltimore, preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. Poe is believed to have lived in the home at the age of 23 when he first lived with Maria Clemm and Virginia (as well as his grandmother and possibly his brother William Henry Leonard Poe).[131] It is open to the public and is also the home of the Edgar Allan Poe Society. Of the several homes that Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria rented in Philadelphia, only the last house has survived. The Spring Garden home, where the author lived in 1843–1844, is today preserved by the National Park Service as the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.[132] Poe's final home is preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx, New York.[61]

Other Poe landmarks include a building in the Upper West Side, where Poe temporarily lived when he first moved to New York. A plaque suggests that Poe wrote "The Raven" here. In Boston, a plaque hangs near the building where Poe was born once stood. Believed to have been located at 62 Carver Street (now Charles Street), the plaque is possibly in an incorrect location.[133][134] The bar in which legend says Poe was last seen drinking before his death still stands in Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland. Now known as The Horse You Came In On, local lore insists that a ghost they call "Edgar" haunts the rooms above.[135]

Poe Toaster Adding to the mystery surrounding Poe's death, an unknown visitor affectionately referred to as the "Poe Toaster" paid homage to Poe's grave annually beginning in 1949. As the tradition carried on for more than 60 years, it is likely that the "Poe Toaster" was actually several individuals, though the tribute was always the same. Every January 19, in the early hours of the morning, the person made a toast of cognac to Poe's original grave marker and left three roses. Members of the Edgar Allan Poe Society in Baltimore helped protect this tradition for decades. On August 15, 2007, Sam Porpora, a former historian at the Westminster Church in Baltimore where Poe is buried, claimed that he had started the tradition in the 1960s. Porpora said the claim that the tradition began in 1949 was a hoax in order to raise money and enhance the profile of the church. His story has not been confirmed,[136] and some details he gave to the press have been pointed out as factually inaccurate.[137] For the first year since 1949, the Poe Toaster did not appear on January 19, 2010,[138] leading to local speculation that the Toaster himself may have passed on.

Selected list of works Main article: Edgar Allan Poe bibliography Tales

"The Black Cat" "The Cask of Amontillado" "A Descent into the Maelström" "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" "The Fall of the House of Usher" "The Gold-Bug" "Hop-Frog" "Ligeia" "The Masque of the Red Death" "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" "The Oval Portrait" "The Pit and the Pendulum" "The Premature Burial" "The Purloined Letter" "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" "The Tell-Tale Heart"

Poetry

"Al Aaraaf" "Annabel Lee" "The Bells" "The City in the Sea" "The Conqueror Worm" "A Dream Within a Dream" "Eldorado" "Eulalie" "The Haunted Palace" "To Helen" "Lenore" "Tamerlane" "The Raven" "Ulalume"


Other works

Politian (1835) – Poe's only play The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) – Poe's only complete novel "The Balloon-Hoax" (1844) – A journalistic hoax printed as a true story "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) – Essay Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848) – Essay "The Poetic Principle" (1848) – Essay "The Light-House" (1849) – Poe's last incomplete work

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe http://www.snl.no/Edgar_Allan_Poe http://poecalendar.blogspot.com/ http://www.mysterynet.com/edgar-allan-poe/ http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/eapoe.htm http://www.eapoe.org/ http://www.poemuseum.org/ http://family.seachest.net/individual.php?pid=I159&ged=Riley.GED -------------------- Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) American Poet Boston native Edgar Allan Poe was a progenitor of detective fiction. His life was full of tragedies, including the death of his mother and young wife to tuberculosis. His tragic life inspired many of his works such as "The Raven". -------------------- (taken from bio posted on NNDB) After the death of his parents in 1811, Edgar was adopted by John and Frances Allan, a tobacco merchant of Scottish extraction, seemingly at the request of his wife, who was childless. The boy was indulged in every way, and encouraged to believe that he would inherit Allan's fortune. Allan, having come to England in 1815 Aboard the Lothair, along with his wife and her sister, Anne (Nancy) Moore Valentine, placed Edgar in a school at Stoke Newington, kept by a Dr. Bransby. In 1820 Allan returned to Richmond, Virginia aboard the Martha. Edgar was first placed at school in the town and then sent to the university of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1826.He was fond of athletics, and was a strong and ardent swimmer; but he developed a passion for gambling and drink. His disorders made it necessary to remove him, and he was taken away by Allan, who refused to pay his debts of honor. He enlisted Under the assumed name of "Edgar A. Perry" on the 26th of May 1827 at Boston, and served for two years in the United States Army. As a soldier his conduct must have been exemplary, for he was promoted sergeant-major on the 1st of January 1829. It is to be noted that throughout his life, when under orders, Poe could be a diligent and capable subordinate. In May 1829 Allan secured his discharge from the army, and in 1830 obtained a nomination for him to the West Point military academy.As a student he showed considerable faculty for mathematics, but his aloofness prevented him from being popular with his comrades, and he neglected his duty. When court-martialled he made no answer to the charges, and was expelled on the 6th of March 1831. Allan's generosity was now exhausted. The death of his first wife in 1829 had doubtless removed an influence favorable to Poe. A second marriage brought him children, and at his death in 1834 he left his adopted son nothing. A last meeting between the two, shortly before Allan's death, led only to a scene of painful violence. In 1835 Edgar married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, a beautiful girl of fourteen years of age. A false statement as to her age was made at the time of the marriage. She died after a long decline in 1847. Poe made two attempts to marry women of fortune -- Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Shelton. The first of these engagements was broken off. The second was terminated by his death in hospital at Baltimore, Maryland, on the 7th of October 1849. -------------------- EDGAR ALLAN POE .... Birth: Jan. 19, 1809 Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA Death: Oct. 7, 1849 Baltimore Baltimore City Maryland, USA

Author, Poet. Most remembered for his influence on other writers and poets through his imaginative use of literary style and for his near flawless use of rhythm and sound in his poetry. He is considered the father of the modern detective story and the psychological thriller. Born in Boston, the son of touring actors David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Poe. When he was three years old, his parents died, and he was taken into the home of John Allan, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Virginia, who renamed him Edgar Allan Poe. In 1826 he entered the University of Virginia, staying only one year, and running up large gambling debts that John Allan refused to pay. Allan pulled him from college and broke up his engagement to Elmira Royster. Lacking means of support, Poe enlisted in the Army, but had his first book, "Tamerlane and Other Poems", published at his expense, and was able to pay off his debts. Reconciled with Allan, his adoptive father paid for his release from the Army and secured an appointment to West Point for Poe (USMA Class of 1834), but he dropped out after six months. His fellow cadets paid for a publishing of his book, "Poems" (1831), which contained his famous poem "To Helen." Taking up residence with his aunt, Maria Clemm, in Baltimore, he supported himself with writing stories, which he sold to the Philadelphia Saturday Courier and other newspapers. In 1835, he married his cousin, Virginia Clemm, who was 13 years old, and moved to Richmond, where he became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. He was highly praised for his reviews of contemporary writers, but this also brought him criticism from those offended, who complained to the magazine's owners. In January 1837, the owners fired him as editor, but continued to publish his poems and stories. He moved to New York City, then to Philadelphia and back to New York, each time looking to establish himself in the literary world, but with only moderate success. In January 1847, Virginia died, and he became a heavy drinker. In 1849, he revisited Richmond, and was able to become engaged to his first love, Elmira Royster. Returning to Baltimore, he was found unconscious on a Baltimore street, and died "of congestion of the brain" according to the local newspapers. Popular lore states that he died of alcoholism, however, some claim that he died from exposure or from encephalitis. In 1875, a group of local school children donated a grave stone for him. In 1949, he was honored on a 3 cent US postage stamp. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)


Family links:

Parents:
 Elizabeth Arnold Poe (1787 - 1811)

Spouse:
 Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (1822 - 1847)*

Siblings:
 William Henry Leonard Poe (1807 - 1831)*
 Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849)
 Rosalie Mackenzie Poe (1810 - 1874)*
  • Calculated relationship
 

Burial: Westminster Burial Ground Baltimore Baltimore City Maryland, USA


Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]


Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 822


view all

Edgar Allan Poe's Timeline

1809
January 19, 1809
Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1812
1812
Age 2
1836
May 16, 1836
Age 27
Old Christ Church, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
1849
October 7, 1849
Age 40
Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
1849
Age 39
????
????
Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA