The life of Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of actor Eliza Poe and actor David Poe, Jr.. His father left before he was born and his mother died when he was only three, so Poe was taken into the home of John Allan, a successful merchant in Richmond, Virginia and baptized Edgar Allan Poe. (While his middle name is frequently misspelt as 'Allen', Poe himself used 'Allan'). After attending schools in England and Richmond, Virginia, Poe registered at the University of Virginia, but stayed for only one year. He was estranged from his adopted father at some point in this period, and so Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private using the name Edgar A. Perry on May 26, 1827. That same year, he released his first book. After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant-major, Poe was discharged.
In 1829 he published his second book, Al Aaraf. At around this time, he was reconciled with Allan, and through him received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His time at West Point was ill-fated, as Poe apparently deliberately disobeyed orders and was dismissed. After that, his adoptive father repudiated him forever.
Poe next moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia. Poe used fiction writing as a means of supporting himself, and with the December issue of 1835, Poe began editing the Southern Literary Messenger for Thomas W. White in Richmond. This position was held by Poe until January, 1837. During this time, Poe married his young cousin, Virginia Clemm, in Richmond on May 16, 1836.
After spending fifteen fruitless months in New York, Poe moved to Philadelphia. Shortly after he arrived, his novella The Narrative of Arthur...