Edgar Allan Poe

¹ mezzotint engraving by John Sartain
This picture courtesy:
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--

by Edgar Allan Poe- "Annabel Lee"


Edgar Allan Poe, (name at birth Edgar Poe), American writer, known as a poet and critic, was born in Boston on Jan. 19, 1809 to David Poe, Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe. both professional actors who died, in 1811, before the poet was three. Poe had one brother William Henry Leonard Poe and a sister Rosalie Poe. John and Frances Allan raised Poe as a foster child in Richmond, Virginia (¹ His sister, Rosalie, is taken in by Mr. and Mrs. William Mackenzie, also of Richmond. His brother, Henry, remains in Baltimore with his grandparents).

(¹ Edgar's middle name of "Allan" was added by John and Frances Allan, who took Poe in as an orphan and served as his foster parents. Although Poe was never legally adopted, he became "Edgar Allan Poe" at his christening on January 7, 1812. As a child, ironically, he was generally known at school as "Edgar Allan" or "Master Allan." )

John Allan was a prosperous tobacco exporter. Taken by the Allan family to England at the age of six, he was placed in a private school. After returning to the U.S. in 1820 he continued to study in private schools and attended the University of Virginia for a year, where Poe excelled academically, but in 1827 his foster father, displeased by the young man's drinking and gambling, refused to pay his debts.

Poe then moved to Boston. There his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), was published anonymously. Shortly afterward Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army and served a 2-year term. In 1829 his second volume of verse, Al Aaraaf, was published, neither volume received significant critical public attention, he effected a reconciliation with Allan, who secured him an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. After only a few months at the academy Poe was dismissed for neglect of duty, and his foster father disowned him permanently.

Poe's third book, Poems, appeared in 1831, and the following year he moved to Baltimore, where he lived with his aunt and her 11-year-old daughter, Virginia Clemm (1822-47). The following year his tale "A MS. Found in a Bottle" won a contest sponsored by the Baltimore Saturday Visitor.
Poe began to sell short stories to magazines around this time, and, in 1835, he became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond from 1835 to 1837. He brought his aunt and twelve-year-old cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm, with him to Richmond.

¹ This engraving of Edgar Allan Poe, by Frederick Warne & Co., was done in 1890. It reproduces the daguerreotype owned by Sarah Anna Lewis.
This picture courtesy:
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

In 1836 Poe, age 27, married his young cousin Virginia, age 13. Through the next decade, much of which was marred by his wife's long illness, Poe worked as an editor for various periodicals in Philadelphia and New York City.
Virginia died in 1847. Poe was said to be unstable after his wife's death.

²Among Poe's poetic output, some dozen or so poems are remarkable for their flawless literary construction and for their haunting themes and meters.

In "The Raven" (1845), for example, the author is overwhelmed by melancholy and omens of death. Poe's extraordinary manipulation of rhythm and sound is particularly evident in "The Bells" (1849), a poem that seems to echo with the chiming of metallic instruments, and "The Sleeper" (1831), which reproduces the state of drowsiness. "Lenore" (1831) and "Annabel Lee" (1849) are verse lamentations on the death of a beautiful young woman.

² In the course of his editorial work, Poe functioned largely as a book reviewer, producing also a significant body of criticism; his essays were famous for their sarcasm, wit, and exposure of literary pretension. His evaluations have withstood the test of time and earned for him a high place among American literary critics. Poe's theories on the nature of fiction and, in particular, his writings on the short story, have had a lasting influence on American and European writers.

²Poe, by his own choice, was a poet, but economic necessity forced him to turn to the relatively profitable genre of prose. Whether or not Poe invented the short story, it is certain that he originated the novel of detection. Perhaps his best-known tale in this genre is "The Gold Bug" (1843), about a search for buried treasure. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" (1842-43), and "The Purloined Letter" (1844) are regarded as predecessors of the modern mystery, or detective, story.
Many of Poe's tales are distinguished by the author's unique grotesque inventiveness in addition to his superb plot construction. Such stories include "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), in which the penetrating gloominess of the atmosphere is accented equally with plot and characterization; "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842), a spine-tingling tale of cruelty and torture; "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843), in which a maniacal murderer is subconsciously haunted into confessing his guilt; and "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846), an eerie tale of revenge.

Most famous as the first master of the short-story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre.

To read these short stories Visit:
The Work of Edgar Allan Poe

¹ This picture courtesy:
The picture shows Poe at a physical and emotional low point in his life.

There are several theories of the cause of Poes death. The true cause of his death is undetermined and remains a mystery.
On June 29, 1849, Poe began a lecture tour to raise money and interest in his projected magazine the Stylus. He went to Philadelphia, Richmond and Norfolk. He was found in Baltimore in a pitiable condition and taken to, what is now called, Church Hospital where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849. He was buried in the yard of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, at that time in an unmarked grave.

¹On May 30, 1913, Orrin C. Painter funded the preparation of a stone to mark the original place of Poe's burial in 1849.

Above the carved raven is the best-known line from Poe's best-known poem:
"Quoth the Raven, Nevermore."

The rest of the inscription reads:
Original Burial Place of
OCTOBER 9, 1849
NOVEMBER 17, 1875
Mrs. Maria Clemm, his mother-in-law,
lies upon his right and Virginia Poe,
his wife, upon his left under the
monument erected to him in this

¹When Poe was originally buried in 1849, he was
placed in an unmarked grave.
In 1865, a movement had begun, under the leadership
of Miss Sara Sigourney Rice, to provide for a new
monument to Baltimore's neglected poet.
Through a combination of pennies accumulated by
students, gifts from friends and a variety of benefits,
half of the necessary amount was raised by 1871.
The remainder was donated by Mr. George W. Childs of
Philadelphia in 1874.
The monument was designed by George A. Frederick, who
was also the architect for Baltimore's City Hall.
Poe's birthday is erroneously given as January 20 rather
than January 19.
The new monument has no epitaph, only the names and
dates of its occupants and was dedicated on November
17, 1875.
The remains of Virginia Poe, buried in 1847 in New York,
were brought to Baltimore and added to those of Poe and
Maria Clemm in 1885.


To My Mother
The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour


For more detailed information on Mr. Poe Visit:
The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

To view more of Poe's poems:
Famous Poets and Poems


Some more of his poems includes:

Al Aaraaf -- Alone -- An Enigma -- Bridal Ballad -- The City In The Sea -- The Coliseum -- The Conqueror Worm -- A Dream -- A Dream Within A Dream -- Dreamland -- Dreams -- Eldorado -- Elizabeth -- Eulalie -- Evening Star -- Fairy-Land -- For Annie -- The Haunted Palace -- Hymn -- Israfel -- The Lake -- Serenade -- Song -- Sonnet- To Science -- Sonnet- To Zante -- Spirits Of The Dead -- Stanzas -- To One Departed -- To One in Paradise -- To the River -- To Zante -- Ulalume -- A Valentine -- The Valley of Unrest


The Angel Of The Odd- An Extravaganza --- The Assignation --- The Balloon-Hoax --- Berenice --- The Black Cat --- Bon-Bon --- The Business Man --- The Cask Of Amontillado --- The Colloquy Of Monos And Una --- The Conversation Of Eiros And Charmion --- A Descent Into The Maelstrom --- The Devil In The Belfry --- Diddling - Considered As One Of The Exact Sciences --- The Domain Of Arnheim --- The Duc De l'Omlette --- Eleonora --- The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar --- The Fall Of The House Of Usher --- Four Beasts In One- The Homo-Cameleopard --- Hop-Frog Or The Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs --- How To Write A Blackwood Article --- The Imp Of The Perverse --- The Island Of The Fay --- King Pest - A Tale Containing An Allegory --- Landor's Cottage - A Pendant To "The Domain Of Arnheim" --- The Landscape Garden --- Ligeia --- Lionizing --- Literary Life Of Thingum Bob, Esq. - Late Editor Of The Goosetherumfoodle - By Himself --- Loss Of Breath - A Tale Neither In Nor Out Of "Blackwood" --- The Man Of The Crowd --- The Man That Was Used Up - A Tale Of The Late Bugaboo And Kickapoo Campaign --- The Masque Of The Red Death --- Mellonta Tauta --- Mesmeric Revelation Metzengerstein --- Morella --- Morning On The Wissahiccon --- Ms. Found In A Bottle --- Mystification --- Never Bet The Devil Your Head - A Tale With A Moral --- The Oblong Box --- The Oval Portrait --- The Pit And The Pendulum --- The Power Of Words --- A Predicament --- The Premature Burial --- The Purloined Letter --- Scenes From Politian --- Shadow- A Parable --- Silence - A Fable --- Some Words With A Mummy --- The Spectacles --- The Sphinx --- The System Of Dr. Tarr And Prof. Fether --- Tale Of Jerusalem --- A Tale Of The Ragged Mountains --- The Tell-Tale Heart --- "Thou Art The Man" --- The Thousand-And-Second Tale Of Scheherazade --- Three Sundays In A Week --- Von Kempelen And His Discovery --- Why The Little Frenchman Wears His Hand In A Sling --- William Wilson --- X-Ing A Paragrab

To read these short stories Visit:
The Work of Edgar Allan Poe


[Poet's Corner Index]


Reference, Research and Source Information

¹ The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore
²The History Channel

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