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Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts on January 19,1809. He was the second child of Elizabeth and David Poe. Both of his parents were actors traveling to perform in theatres from Massachusetts to South Carolina. David Poe abandoned his family while Edgar was still an infant. His Mother died in December of 1811, at which time the orphaned Poe was taken in by a prosperous Virginian Merchant and his wife, John and Frances Allan. Edgar Allan Poe and his new family moved to England in 1815, where he attended boarding school until he was eleven.

The Allan family returned to Richmond Virginia because his foster Father’s business failed. Poe attended the University of Virginia. He was very good in ancient and modern languages. His past time was gambling, which he did not do so well incurring a large debt. His father refused to help him pay off his gambling debt. This caused he and his father to fight. Poe left for Boston to avoid further conflict. In Boston, he published his first volume of poetry”Tamerlane and Other Poems”.

He also joined the United States Army using the name Edgar A. Perry. Poes foster mother died in 1829, at which time he made up with his foster father. His foster father arranged for Poe to be nominated to West Point. Poe began his studies at West Point but was dismissed for disobeying orders in 1831. He Moved to New York where Poe tried to support himself by writing but had to rely on his grandmother, aunt and cousin for room and board. Early in 1835, he began to publish book reviews in a Richmond magazine called the Southern Literary Messenger.

He was hired as a regular contributor and as an editor of the journals review. He re established family ties in Richmond and married his cousin Virginia Clemson in 1836. Poe resigned from the Messenger in 1837 due to disagreements with the owner. Poe obtained another steady job in 1839 as editor of Barton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine, where he published “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe was fired from Barton’s in 1840 and accepted a job as literary editor for Graham’s Magazine.

Poe published “The Man of the Crowd” and his first detective stories in this magazine Virginia Poe became seriously ill in 1842 and almost died; Poe’s own health was also poor. He moved his family back to New York in 1844 unsuccessfully trying to get a government appointment. In 1845 James Russell Lowell’s favorable review of Poes works helped bring Poe into high regard in the New York Literary world. He published “The Raven” and became recognized and loved by many. Edgar Allan Poe is one of America’s best-known authors. He invented the detective story, science fiction, and the gothic tale.

Poe believed that authors should begin their writings by considering its effect on the reader. He was highly critical of sentimentality and insisted that beauty was the essence of true poetry. Poe believed that the ideal length of a poem was 100 lines. He loved the short story because he thought that the most effective writing could be read in one sitting. Poe’s life was insecure but his writing was very structured. He believed in individual creativity but advocated classical norms in writing.

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