A Detailed Biography Of The Life Of Edgar Allan Poe

1406 words - 6 pages

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston to Elizabeth and David Poe. Both Elizabeth and David Poe were professional actors. Elizabeth Poe was praised by critics for her fine acting while David Poe often received negative reviews. In July of 1810 David Poe left his family without any explanation. Five months after he left Elizabeth gave birth to a third child, Rosalie. Elizabeth Poe soon grew ill with the most common fatal disease of that time, tuberculosis. Then in December of 1811 Elizabeth Poe died at the age of twenty - four. After her death Rosalie went to live with a kind woman who helped take care of Elizabeth, Mrs. William Mackenzie, while, Edgar was sent to live with his godfather, Mr. and Mrs. John Allan.John Allan was a tobacco exporter in Richmond, Virginia, while his wife, Francis, raised Poe as a foster child but never legally adopted him. Poe lived with the Allan's in England from 1815-820, where he attended private school. At first Poe attended school in Scotland but persuaded John Allan to bring him home where he attended school in Chelsea (a section of England). Then, at the age of nine, Poe switched schools to one in Stoke Newington (a suburb of London). However, around 1820, John Allan's business began to plummet. He managed to make one final, profitable deal in England and booked a shipboard passage for himself and his family back to America. In May of 1820 the family sailed from Liverpool to New York.Poe attended the University of Virginia in 1826 where he was an outstanding student. He attended classes from seven to nine in the morning which gave him time for his scholarly pursuits. He took his exams in the fall with pleasing results. He received second place in Latin, first place in French, and won the praise of his European professors.Poe had many financial difficulties while at the university. His father, John Allan, had only given him $110 dollars which only covered laundry, meals, servants, and lectures in Latin and French. Poe wrote a letter to Allan giving him details on all the costs, but Allan only responded with a $40 dollar check (the bare minimum deposit on services). Poe had been left with only one dollar in his pocket for the year. Desperate, Poe began to borrow money from Charlottesville merchants, then he soon started to gamble. He would play cards hoping to win money. He incurred a debt of $2,500 by the middle of the fall term. Soon, Poe had taken to drinking because he enjoyed the effect alcohol had. However, he could not tolerate it well, and even a little bit of alcohol was too much for him to handle. He often became extremely ill because of it.Creditors demanded that Poe's father pay for the debts he incurred, but Allan refused to pay any of Poe's gambling debts. Poe argued that they were "debts of honor" and he never would have gambled if Allan had given him enough money in the beginning. Allan withdrew Poe from the university. Allan wanted Poe to pursue a career in law, but Poe wanted a...

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