The life of Edgar Allan Poe.

Essay by medgine87A+, October 2004

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Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. His father deserted the family, and his mother, an actress, died of tuberculosis when Edgar was three. Edgar went to live with his uncle, John Allan, and aunt Frances in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1826, Poe entered the University of Virginia and was an exceptional student, unfortunately, he was forced to drop out due to immense gambling debts. In March 1827, Poe enlisted in the army under the name "Edgar A. Perry", because his uncle wanted him to become a lawyer instead of following a literary career. When he was discharged from the army in 1829, he had attained the rank of sergeant major.

In 1830, Poe moved to Baltimore to live with his aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter Virginia, and enlisted in the U.S. Military Academy in an effort to attain his uncle's respect. When Frances' Allan died and Poe's uncle remarried, Poe decided to he would never reconcile with his uncle or receive an inheritance.

Poe deliberately broke regulations to force his dismissal from West Point.

Poe's literary career first began with poetry. He published two volumes of poetry before he became disappointed with the lack of recognition, and began to write short stories. The first five of which were published in 1832.

On May 16, 1836, Poe married his cousin Virginia, who at the time was just thirteen. He worked as an editor for several magazines following his marriage and throughout his lifetime.

The last years of Poe's life were very tragic. Virginia died of tuberculosis in 1847, after five years of suffering from the illness. Poe occasionally turned to alcohol to ease his despair. He was able to control the drinking, so it didn't affect his work, despite what some critics may say. In...