About Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an author that wrote about mystery, murder, cannibalism and mayhem.  He started writing at a young age and was able to publish his first book of poems at the age of 18.  As the years passed, Edgar Allan Poe was able to publish more books of poetry, write stories for newspapers and magazines and own a few of his own magazines.  His life of writing came easy because his life was full of darkness and despair.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809 as Edgar Poe.  He was the second of three children and his parents were traveling actors.  He lost both his parents to death before the age of three and was moved to live with a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Virginia.  The wealthy merchant was John Allan and his wife was Frances Allen.  Poe’s and his siblings were separated.  John Allan raised Poe to take over his wealthy tobacco business, but Poe showed little interest and had started writing poems.

In 1826 Poe attended the University of Virginia and created a gambling habit due to the limited finances that he had.  Poe returned home to Richmond to visit his home and his fiancée, Elmire Royster.  While there he found his fiancée had become engaged to another man and his foster father disowned Poe because of his gambling debts.  With the loss of his family and fiancée, Poe decided to enlist in the United States Army.  Over the next two years, he served the United States Army and published his book Tamerlane, Poe was only 18 years old.  Poe also lost his foster mother to tuberculosis at the end of the two years.

Poe moved in with his late father’s family, his Aunt Maria Clemm who lived in Boston.  During his stay, Poe fell in love with Maria Clemm’s daughter Virginia.  While in Boston, Poe started to publish his short stories in magazine and newspapers.  He held a job at the Southern Literary Messenger. This began Poe’s career working with magazines and he found his desire to be a magazine writer.  A year after Poe started working for the magazine, he made it the most popular in the south with his stories and his book reviews.  Poe moved Maria Clemm and her daughter to Virginia to Richmond and married Virginia, she was not yet fourteen.

After a few years, Poe moved to New York to write for another magazine and to also write and publish his only book, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.  In 1838, Poe moved to Philadelphia and wrote for a large range of different magazines.  After working to write for newspapers, magazines and write his own stories, Poe would fight and become the man who fought for writers to earn higher wages and for copyright laws.

In 1842, Poe’s wife Virginia became sick with tuberculosis. She died in the winter 1847 in the country of New York City.  Due to Poe’s devastation from the loss of his wife, Poe was unable to write for the next few months.  Many associates and other writers claimed that Poe would soon die.  Two years later Poe was on his way to Philadelphia and stopped in Baltimore on his way.  While there he disappeared for five days.  He was located in the bar of a public house and was sent to Washington College Hospital.  Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7, 1849 at the age of 40.  The cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery.

After Poe’s death, his writings became famous.  The writer, Rufus Griswold who was Poe’s rival, accidently made him famous by writing Poe’s obituary and how crude Poe was.  The obituary had an opposite effect and people become curious about Poe’s writings.

Learn more with these Edgar Allan Poe websites.

Cite This Page

"About Edgar Allan Poe." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Aug. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/410/about-edgar-allan-poe/ >.

Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
Price: $7.24