A Brief Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

He was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston in a family of itinerant actors. Very early he became an orphan: Edgar’s father disappeared in 1810, and two years later his mother died. The boy was taken in the upbringing of a family of Richmond merchant J. Allan.

From 1815 to 1820, Poe lived in England, where he was a young man. Poe lived in England, where he was educated in a boarding school. On his return to America he attended college.

In 1826 he entered the University of Virginia, which he had to abandon a year later because his stepfather flatly refused to pay his stepson’s gambling debts. Fleeing from his lenders, Poe enlisted in the army and in 1830 became a student at the military academy at West Point. But the hardships of military service were too much for the young poet, who had by then published his first collections of poems. Abandoning everything, he went to Baltimore, where his aunt lived, and devoted himself entirely to literary activities.

He wrote stories, poems, critical articles, worked part-time as an editor.

In 1835 Poe was asked to head the Southern Literary Gazette magazine. His improved life allowed him to have a family – in 1836 he married his 14-year-old cousin Virginia. Happiness, however, lasted only 11 years. The death of his wife from consumption in 1847 was a terrible shock to Poe, from which he has not recovered. The writer became depressed, attempting suicide. Numbing the mental pain, he got addicted to alcohol.

He died on October 7, 1849, in Baltimore.

Poe pioneered several genres: science fiction (A Tale of the Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym, 1838); horror literature (two volumes of Grotesques and Arabesques, 1840); detective (Murder in the Morgue, 1841; The Golden Bug, 1843).

The writer is considered the unsurpassed master of the short story, which under his pen could be both tragic and humorous, and “terrible” and fantastic.

Poe’s early poetry bears characteristics of romanticism (Tamerlane and Other Poems, 1827). In adulthood he tried with the help of imagination to overcome the finitude of time, the inevitability of death ( The Raven and other poems, 1845). In mysticism Poe seeks answers to questions that torment the soul.

Interesting Facts

Edgar Allan Poe may be the author of a hoax known as the Bale Cryptograms, the contents of which have not yet been solved.

Every year, on Edgar Poe’s birthday, his grave is visited by a secret admirer.

The novel “Black Throne” by the famous American science fiction writer Roger Zelazny is based on the facts of Poe’s life, in addition, there are references to the work of Poe and the heroes of his works

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Baltimore, which has a single employee, is experiencing continuing financial difficulties and is in danger of closing because of the city’s budget shortfall.

In 1988, on the album Ainsi soit je… by the popular French singer Milen Farmer, the song “Allan” dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe appeared as the 3rd track.

The Alan Parsons Project has an album Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1976) dedicated to the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Larson Sylvia