Edgar Allan Poe was a bizarre and often scary writer. People throughout history have often wondered why his writings were so fantastically different and unusual. They were not the result of a diseased mind, as some think. Rather they came from a tense and miserable life. Edgar Allan Poe was not a happy man. He was a victim of fate from the moment he was born to his death only forty years later. He died alone and unappreciated. It is quite obvious that his life affected his writings in a great way. In order to understand why, the historical background of Poe must be known.
Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. His parents were touring actors and both died before he was three years old. After this, he was taken into the home of John Allan, a prosperous merchant who lived in Richmond, Virginia.1 When he was six, he studied in England for five years.
Not much else is known about his childhood, except that it was uneventful.
In 1826, when Poe was seventeen years old he entered the University of Virginia. It was also at this time that he was engaged to marry his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elmira Royster. He was a good student, but only stayed for a year. He did not have enough money to make ends meet, so he ran up extremely large gambling debts to trying make more money. Then he could not afford to go to school anymore. John Allan refused to pay off Poe's debts, and broke off his engagement to Sarah Elmira Royster. Since Poe had no other means of support, he enlisted in the army. By this time however, he had written and printed his first book, Tammerlane, and Minor Poems (1829).2
After a few months...