In the line of great American writers, you will definitely find Edgar Allan Poe. Regarded as one of the most important writers of the 19th century he was an editor and literary critic but was more popular for his poetry and short stories which were not only deep but highly mysterious. Many years after his death, his works are still very relevant to many in the literary world. Here is all to know about him.
Edgar Allan Poe Bio
Even though he became widely popular as Edgar Allan Poe, the poet was born Edgar Poe on January 19, 1809, in the United States, Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly after his birth, his alcoholic father walked out on the family, leaving his mother to take care of Edgar and his elder brother, as well as his sister who was born after their father had left.
By the time he was three years old, both his parents had died, leaving them to be adopted by different people. John and Frances Allan adopted Edgar Poe, hence they added the name Allan to his birth name.
For his education, he went to a grammar school in Irvine before being sent to Chelsea to continue his education in a boarding school. From there, he moved to the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School. He would later go to the University of Virginia, but would not complete his studies. Poe also trained with the United States Military Academy and even served before he was dismissed.
After he got dismissed from the military, Poe continued his life as a writer and poet. His works include short stories like “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado”, and poems such as “The City in the Sea”, “The Conqueror Worm”, and “A Dream Within a Dream.”
Family, Parents, And Wife
Edgar came from a family that was artistic minded. His father, David Poe Jr. was an actor in the same way as the poet’s mother, Eliza Poe. Both of them made a name for themselves on the stage. Poe had an elder brother named William Henry Leonard Poe also a poet, as well as a younger sister Rosalie Poe. She was born after David Poe had walked out on his family and because of that, there was a question on her paternity. Nonetheless, the poet stated that she was his own sister.
With the death of their parents, the real family of Edgar Allan Poe fell apart with each of the three kids adopted by different families. As noted, John and Frances Allan adopted Poe and gave him a new family until much later in his life.
A poet behind works like “Annabel Lee,” the love story of Poe is as interesting as his love poetry, and still very sad. The first woman he had dated was Sarah Elmira Royster with whom he later got very serious and even went on to engage. Nonetheless, it was his first cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe that he would later marry because of the interference of the father of Sarah in the relationship.
At the time Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe married Edgar, she was just 13 while he was 27. Their relationship was described by many as good, but then the poet was later accused of being involved with Frances Sargent Osgood who was a poet known for exchanging romantic poems with Poe, and Elizabeth F. Ellet who was likewise a poet.
The scandal did not end without putting a lot of weight on the life of the young Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe who had contracted tuberculosis to which she later lost her life in 1847 at the age of 24. The death of Virginia marked the beginning of the end for Edgar who resorted to alcoholism leading to the failure of his relationship with Sarah Helen Whitman whom he had engaged and planned to marry in 1848.
Following the end of the relationship, Poe went back to the woman he had loved when he was much younger, Sarah Elmira Royster who at the time had already married but her husband had died in 1844, leaving her with two children. Poe pressured her into an engagement to the disapproval of her children. Unfortunately, before the two could get married, Poe had lost his life.
Since he was a little child, Edgar Allan Poe had always known tragedy from the loss of his parents to that of his wife, then his brother, and others close to him. On October 7, 1849, the bells finally tolled for The Bells poet after he died in a mysterious manner.
A day prior to his death, he was found in Baltimore on the streets in clothes that were not his own and rushed to the Washington Medical College. There was no explanation as to how he got into the situation or how he could be helped.
“Reynolds” was the name he kept calling a night before his last, and “Lord help my poor soul” was the last words of the writer before his death.
- His mother first married Charles Hopkins before marrying his father after her first husband died three years into their marriage.
- In contrast to the stereotypical manner in which we look at writers, Poe was an athlete and was popular for his skills as a swimmer.
- There were rumors that claimed Edgar was into the use of drugs. It was, however, found that it was not true.
- Poe had been involved with a good number of women in his lifetime, but the one he truly believed was his true love was the mother of his friend, Mrs. Jane Stith Stanard whom he infatuated. She died when he was just 15, and that led to his poem “To Helen.”