Welcome to our website, dear readers. Edgar Allan Poe is known for his incredible horror stories such as “The Black Cat” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, as well as such poems as “The Raven” and “Annabelle Lee”.
And today we decided to prepare for you the most interesting facts about this outstanding American writer.
Contrary to popular belief, Allan was not his middle name at birth. He was born in the USA, in Boston under the name Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar’s parents were Eliza and David Poe. When Edgar was only one year old, his father left the family. The next year, he was left without a mother – she died of consumption in 1811. He became an orphan. In 1812 he was adopted by the wealthy Allan family. Then the Allan family christened him as Edgar Allan Poe.
Because of his scary stories, Edgar is considered by many to be a surly reclusive writer. But this is not true. In fact, he was a very active person. He was engaged in boxing, long jump, and was also an excellent swimmer. He even set a local record for swimming 11 km upstream on the James River in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1825 his stepfather received a huge inheritance and his family became incredibly wealthy. Edgar’s stepfather managed to establish a business, buy a nice mansion, and prepare his stepson to enter the newly opened University of Virginia. Despite the fact that Edgar showed a strong interest in learning and was, in general, a fairly promising student, he could not resist the entertainment of the youth there. Namely – before drinking and card games. Children from wealthy families, to which Poe already belonged, gathered regularly, drank wine and played cards. Such gatherings led to the fact that Edgar Allan Poe got into heavy debt ($ 2,500, of which 2,000 were gambling debts). Upon learning of this, his stepfather came to his stepson and strongly scolded him. He refused to pay his son’s card debts, giving money only for books and tuition fees. Due to the unwillingness of his stepfather to solve debt problems, Edgar soon had to leave the university.
Immediately after he dropped out of university, he published the book Tamerlane and Other Poems. This book includes the epic poem “Tamerlane”, which tells about the life of the Turkic conqueror, historically known as Tamerlane. When the book came out, Edgar was only 18 years old. Unfortunately, this book did not bring him instant popularity.
After the publication of Tamerlane and Other Poems, Poe signed an army contract for a period of five years and became a private in the First Artillery Regiment of the US Army. In the documents, he gave the fictitious name “Edgar A. Perry” and aged himself by 4 years (indicated that he was 22, not 18). Lack of money forced him to sign the contract. In the army, he was mainly engaged in paperwork (then literate people were valued, since most soldiers were poorly literate). In just 2 years, he was awarded the rank of chief sergeant of the regiment – the highest non-officer rank. In 1929, his adoptive mother died. When he arrived at the funeral, he reconciled with his father, who helped him prepare documents for admission to West Point Academy. He returned to the army and terminated the contract.
Although Poe’s favorite genre was horror, he is also considered one of the first American science fiction writers. And he had a great influence on many future science fiction writers. In particular, such prominent personalities as Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Jules Verne were inspired by his work.
In 1836 he married his cousin Virginia Eliza Clemm. At that time, marriages with one’s relatives were not something surprising. But in the marriage of Edgar and Virginia, it was surprising that the difference in their age was 13 years. When they got married, Edgar was 26 years old, and his lover was only 13.
Despite his growing popularity, Poe was never able to break out of the “fetters” of poverty. The lack of a clear copyright law prevented him from making much money, as American magazines preferred to reprint British stories rather than pay American writers for new ones.
In addition, he inherited nothing after the death of his adoptive father.
Two days after Allan Poe’s death, the New York Daily Tribune published an obituary written for him by a man who identified himself as Ludwig. In the article, Allan was highlighted not in the best way. In fact, it was not Ludwig who wrote his obituary, but the American poet Rufus Wilmot Griswold, one of Poe’s many enemies. Edgar earned himself many ill-wishers, as he often criticized the works of popular writers and poets. In 1850, Rufus Wilmot Griswold published Poe’s first biography, Memoirs of the Author. This biography was filled with fabrications and fake letters from Poe to tarnish his reputation. It is thanks to Rufus Wilmot Griswold that many still think that Edgar was a drug addict and drunk, which is not true at all.
He often created with his Siamese cat. Before starting to write, he put a cat on his shoulder, and then he began to create masterpieces.
He gained instant fame after writing the poem “The Raven”. This piece was published in the New York Evening Mirror. This gloomy poem tells the story of a student mourning his beloved. Suddenly, he meets a talking raven, which can only say one word – “never”. Communication with a bird slowly drives the protagonist crazy.
When his lover fell ill, he became addicted to alcohol. And although at the same time he gained fame by publishing the poem “The Raven”, he could not recover after the death of his wife. 2 years after the death of Eliza Klemm, Edgar Allan Poe himself died. What caused a 40-year-old man in his prime, no one knows to this day.
This concludes our publication, dear readers. We hope that the information was useful not only for children, but also for adults.