Edgar Allan Poe

Biography Project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade Language Arts class
made by CD 5th hour

Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts, and died on October 7, 1849 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Significant Event in History that Affected Edgar's Life

- Romantic Movement

Childhood of Edgar

Edgar Poe was born to Elizabeth and David Poe, a couple whom were both in the acting business. Soon after Edgar's birth, David left the family and never returned to them. Young Edgar was brought up by Francis and John Allan after his mother died from tuberculosis. Due to the War of 1812, John's business, which thrived on exporting products to other countries in order to make money, was affected negatively by a period of time in which shipments between Europe and America were cut off. Edgar and the Allans soon traveled to England and lived in the country between the years of 1815 and 1820. Through his years with the Allans, Frances was kind to the child of the two actors, but John never favored Edgar. Poe decided to go to the University of Virginia in 1826, but his foster father didn't help pay his tuition, leading Edgar to gamble to pay off his debt and to drop out of the university.

People Who Made an Impact on Edgar's Life

  • Lord Byron- Author that influenced Poe's writing indirectly. Byron was much like a role model for Edgar.
  • Jane Sith Stanard (mother of one of his friends)- Jane also influenced Poe indirectly in his teenage years, since the author of dark tales admitted that his poem, Helen, based off of her.
  • John Allan (Edgar's foster father)- John affected Edgar negatively by refusing to help pay for his tuition for the University of Virginia, which lead young Poe to gamble with others to pay off his debt and started his life-long problem with drinking.
  • Virginia Clemm (Edgar's cousin and wife) - Thirteen year old cousin that Poe married. Her death devastated him, leading to the creation of Annabel Lee.

Unique Facts About Poe

1. Poe was considered a child prodigy before the age of sixteen.

2. Edgar proposed to a woman, Elmira Royster, twice and was accepted both times, but the two never eloped.

3. When Edgar Poe attended the University of Virginia, he studied the languages of Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish from his passion of communicating in other tongues.

4. After he abandoned his education at the university, Edgar decided to enroll in West Point Academy on March 1830, only to be discharged on January 28, 1831 for debt and disciplinary issues.

5. Edgar Allan Poe created around sixty-eight tales in his forty years of life.

Edgar's Accomplishments

  • In the summer of 1827 his first volume, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published under the name of "a Bostonian."
  • Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems, Edgar's second literary volume, was printed in December of 1829.
  • Poems by Edgar A. Poe was brought out to the public on April 1831, three months after Poe was discharged from West Point Academy.
  • During the year of 1833, Poe won first place in a short story contest sponsored by the Saturday Visiter magazine with his tale, MS Found in a Bottle.
  • Poe's career as a writer and editor started when he was established as the newest addition to the staff of revisers for Southern Literary Messenger, a magazine in Richmond, on August 18, 1835.
  • Edgar Allan Poe became the editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in July 1839.
  • Edgar published "The Raven" in the Evening Mirror on January  29, 1845, making him quite famous afterward.
  • Mr. Poe became the owner of the Broadway Journal in October of 1845.

The Theme of Edgar Allan Poe's Life

Even though Poe barely gained any money as an author, the lack of an income never weakened his passion for crafting fantastic works of literature. Thus, I conclude that the theme of Mr. Poe's life was no matter what obstacles you may face, whether it be financial issues or unfortunate deaths of loved ones, never stop pursuing what you love to do in life.

Quotes of Admiration for Poe and What I learned from His Life

  • A judge for the Saturday Visiter complimented Poe's story, MS Found in a Bottle:There was genius in everything.
  • Mary I. Dixon described the enchantment of Edgar reading in a letter that she made in September, 11, 1872: ... turn down the lamps till the room was almost dark, then standing in the center of the apartment... recite... in the most melodious of voices... He forgot time, spectators, his personal identity... So marvelous was his power as a reader that the auditors would be afraid to draw breath lest the enchanted spell be broken.

The master of dark and horrific tales has taught me that life can be full of hardships. Edgar's forty years upon Earth were depressing and overflowing with tear-filled and maddening events, ranging from storm cloud of bankruptcy that constantly loomed over his head, threatening to strike at any moment, to the passing of his darling- his love and his bride- Virginia Clemm. Yet, the author never stopped creating amazing works, even with catastrophes striking left and right. If I were to have learned anything from Poe's life, I would proclaim that I now know to continue working at my passion, no matter what challenges I'll have to overcome in the future.

Works Cited

Shorto, Russell. Edgar Allan Poe: Creator of Dreams. New York: Kipling, 1988. Print.

Haines, Charles. Edgar Allan Poe: His Writings and Influence. New York: Franklin Watts, 1974. Print.

Kuiper, Kathleen. "8 Creepy Critters in the Work of Edgar Allan Poe." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

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