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E.A.Poe Biography Essay

3138 words - 13 pages

The life of Edgar Allan PoePoe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of actor Eliza Poe and actor David Poe, Jr.. His father left before he was born and his mother died when he was only three, so Poe was taken into the home of John Allan, a successful merchant in Richmond, Virginia and baptized Edgar Allan Poe. (While his middle name is frequently misspelt as 'Allen', Poe himself used 'Allan'). After attending schools in England and Richmond, Virginia, Poe registered at the University of Virginia, but stayed for only one year. He was estranged from his adopted father at some point in this period, and so Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private using the name Edgar A. Perry on May 26, 1827. That same year, he released his first book. After serving for two years and attaining the rank of Sergeant-major, Poe was discharged. In 1829 he published his second book, Al Aaraf. At around this time, he was reconciled with Allan, and through him received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His time at West Point was ill-fated, as Poe apparently deliberately disobeyed orders and was dismissed. After that, his adoptive father repudiated him forever.Poe next moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia. Poe used fiction writing as a means of supporting himself, and with the December issue of 1835, Poe began editing the Southern Literary Messenger for Thomas W. White in Richmond. This position was held by Poe until January, 1837. During this time, Poe married his young cousin, Virginia Clemm, in Richmond on May 16, 1836.After spending fifteen fruitless months in New York, Poe moved to Philadelphia. Shortly after he arrived, his novella The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was published and widely reviewed. In the summer of 1839, he became assistant editor of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine. He published a large number of articles, stories, and reviews, enhancing the reputation as a trenchant critic that he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger. In 1839, the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes. Though not a financial success, it was a milestone in the history of American literature. Poe left Burton's after about a year and found a position as assistant editor at Graham's Magazine.Virginia suffered a lung hemorrhage in January 1842. It was the first sign of the tuberculosis that would make her an invalid and eventually take her life. Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia's illness. He left Graham's and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post.He returned to New York, where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal. There he became involved in a noisy public feud with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. On January 29, 1845, his poem "The Raven" appeared in the Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation.The Broadway Journal failed in 1846. Poe...

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