Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by Drizzt_DoUrdenA+, April 2004

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Poe was born in Boston in January 1809. He was born to actors David and Elizabeth Poe. Poe's father disappeared in 1810. Elizabeth died in December of 1811 and Edgar was adopted by John & Frances Allan. John was a Scottish merchant. They lived in Richmond, Virginia. In 1815, they all left for England with hopes of expanding John's trading business. John Allan's business didn't prosper and he nearly went bankrupt so, they decided to move back to the states.

Even though they were living in troubling times, Edgar still attended school. He was inspired by a school friend's mother to write the poem "To Helen" before she died. Edgar attended a university established by Thomas Jefferson in 1826. He wanted to be a writer. No one liked the idea because to them art was not a man's form of work. While Poe was in the university he acquired much debt and became a drunkard, which followed him the rest of his life.

He moved to Boston and joined the army. He published his first book of poems titled "Tamerlane and Other Poems" in 1827. His army career was successful and he was accepted at West Point Military Academy where he did well. In February 1831, Poe was dismissed from the army. Poe fell in love with his cousin Virginia. They were married on May 16, 1836. He continued to write and was respected by the literary people of Philadelphia. They moved to New York where Poe wrote "The Raven" on January 29, 1845. Virginia died January 30, 1847. Edgar Allan Poe died of diseases in 1849 not long after he was found, lying drunk and diseased in an alley in Baltimore.