A Brief Overview of Edgar Allan Poe
Who was Edgar Allan Poe?
He was an orphan with a troubled childhood who became America’s first great lyric poet, the inventor of the modern detective story, a pioneer of science fiction, and the master of the macabre. Over the course of just forty years, Poe became the first internationally influential American writer.
What did he write?
He wrote Romantic poems of love and death like “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” “Dream within a Dream,” “The Conquer Worm,” and many more. He also wrote tales of terror like “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Cask of the Amontillado.”
With his stories “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter,” Poe became the father of modern detective fiction, but that’s not all. He also wrote science fiction. “A Descent into the Maelstrom” and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” are just two of Poe’s stories that expanded the style and creativity of the science fiction genre. Besides writing prose and poetry, Poe was a literary critic who got into plenty of hot water with his literary brethren because of his scathing reviews of their work. Poe was fearless when it came to ridiculing the works of other writers. Clearly, Poe was a renaissance man when it came to his explorations of the written word.
When and where did Poe live?
• Born January 19th, 1809 in Boston
• Orphaned and resided in Richmond 1811-1815
• Lived overseas in Scotland and England with the Allan Family 1815-1820
• Returned to Richmond 1820
• Attended University of Virginia 1826
• Enlisted in the army in Boston 1827
• From 1830-1831 Poe attended West Point in New York
• Resided with his aunt Maria Clemm and his cousin Virginia Clemm in Baltimore in 1832
• Returned to Richmond, again, in 1835-1837, later brought his cousin Virginia and aunt Maria to Richmond and married Virginia.
•1837 Moved to New York City
• In 1838 he moved to Philadelphia and lived there for six years
• Returned to New York in 1844 with his wife and mother-in-law
• Moved to Fordham (now in The Bronx) with his wife and mother-in-law because he believed the country air will improve his wife’s health. She died there in 1847.
• Returned, finally at last, to Richmond in 1849 and spent the last months of his life there
• Died in Baltimore, while traveling, October 7th, 1849…still there today!