Edgar Allan Poe born in Boston on January 19, 1809
Brother to Rosalie and William Henry
Son to Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins and David Poe
After the death of his father, they moved from his home in
Boston, Massachusetts to their new home in Richmond,
Virginia where his mother worked for their living.
After the death of his mother, Poe being three years
old at the time, was taken in by Frances and John
Poe then moved to England with his new family and
attended school in Chelsea before returning to Virginia to
attend university. But after his first term, he quarreled
with John Allan and impulsively ran away. He enlisted in
the Army. Approximately one year after is discharged
from the army.
Then suddenly Poe received word from John Allan
that his beloved foster mother had died.
1827: First book of Poetry published.
Tamerlane and other Poems
Then in 1831 Poe moved to
Baltimore to live with his aunt, Maria
Clemm. In 1833 some of his poetry
was published in the Baltimore
Saturday Visitor and won a contest
with his poetry.
Soon after, 1835, Poe became the
editor of the Southern Literary
Messenger. This was where he was
first recognized as a respected writer.
After beginning his career, Poe marries Virginia
Clemm (in 1836) his fourteen year old cousin. They
moved to New York together, where Poe continued
writing poetry and short stories and in doing so
broadened his fan base.
In 1847 Virginia died of an infectious
disease also known as pulmonary
tuberculosis. Poe became a wreck
emotionally, physically, and mentally.
1849 Poe began a tour to promote his poetry and short stories with the hope of
raising enough money to begin a magazine. Not soon after on October 7 of 1949
Edgar Allan Poe died. It was as mysterious as it was tragic. He was found
semiconscious, wandering around a polling place in Baltimore. After four days in
hospital where he never gained consciousness, he died. There are many theories
explaining the caused of his death, but one thing is for certain, his death is a
mystery for no one knows the true cause.
Edgar Allan Poe, a dark, spiritual and influential poet of the 1800’s
Poe’s poetry and stories were dark and enchanting. In his work he incorporated
elements of horror and mystery to create intriguing and imaginative reading. Poe
is said to have been the originator of detective stories and with dominant themes
of mystery and despair his poetry was innovative and creative.
He influenced modern society by showing people the dark side of things and
not being afraid to write about it. Instead of writing what people want to hear
about themselves and the world around them, Poe wrote about the dark truth
and possibly the things people didn’t want to come to realization with.
Deep into that
long I stood there,
dreams no mortal
“Poe has grotesque inventiveness” (Reckley)
Graphic descriptions and morbid wording fortify
The theme prevalent in Poe’s Fiction is
Horror story about teeth
"There came a light tap at the library
door, and pale as the tenant of a
tomb, a menial entered upon tiptoe.
His looks were wild with terror, and he
spoke to me in a voice tremulous,
husky, and very low..."
"The Black Cat"
Horror story about a cat.
A drunk man kills his cat
and it comes back to
haunt him. In Poe's usual
style, the narrator of the
story is the killer and we
see things through his
the cellar of the
building with his
wife, the narrator
almost trips over
the cat. Enraged,
the narrator grabs
an axe to attack
the cat, but his
wife defends the
angered by this
narrator turns his
rage at his wife
and buries the
axe in her head.
"A Descent Into The
Man vs. Nature, Adventure Story
Three fisherman are at sea, off the coast of
Norway. They encounter a hurricane and
must fight for their lives while trying to avoid
the Maelström, a huge whirlpool that sucks
down anything in its path. Can these men
survive the hurricane and escape the force of
"A singular change, too, had come over the
heavens. Around in every direction it was still
as black as pitch, but nearly overhead there
burst out, all at once, a circular rift of clear
sky — as clear as I ever saw — and of a
deep bright blue — and through it there
blazed forth the full moon with a lustre that I
never before knew her to wear. She lit up
every thing about us with the greatest
distinctness — but, oh God, what a scene it
was to light up !"
"The Facts in the
Case of M. Valdemar"
Talking with a dead man
A man dying from
tuberculosis asks his friend,
the narrator of the story, to
hypnotize him just before
death. The event is
witnessed by two doctors
and a medical student. The
results are interesting to
say the least.
"The Fall of the
House of Usher"
An old house and its secrets
One of the most widely read of
Poe's stories. The narrator receives
a desperate letter from a "boyhood
friend" requesting that he come to
see him. The friend, a mister
Roderick Usher, lives in a very old
mansion out near a swamp. Once
inside, the narrator finds more than
he expected. A classic story of a
creepy guy living in a haunted
"The room in which I found myself
was very large and lofty. The
windows were long, narrow, and
pointed, and at so vast a distance
from the black oaken floor as to be
altogether inaccessible from within."
The Gold Bug"
A search for pirate treasure.
In this story, two friends and a
servant go on a hunt for the
fabled buried treasure of Captain
Kidd. Through his character
named William Legrand, Poe
explains how to decode an
encrypted message. With Poe's
technique, you could actually
hack certain encrypyed
messages! Besides being a great
"Sherlock Holmes" type
adventure story, it gives an
insight into Poe's intelligence.
"The Tell-Tale Heart"
A murderer's guilt
The narrator of this story tells you
his "perfect" plan to kill an old
man, then takes you through the
process of doing it. He might get
away with it too except he starts
"I kept quite still and said nothing.
For a whole hour I did not move a
muscle, and in the meantime I did
not hear him lie down. He was still
sitting up in the bed listening; —
just as I have done, night after
night, hearkening to the death
watches in the wall."
About being buried alive
It's definitely a scary story. Poe makes
you feel like you are there. Read this
story carefully because there is also an
important lesson to be learned.
"It may be asserted, without hesitation,
that no event is so terribly well adapted
to inspire the oppression of the lungs-
the stifsupremeness of bodily and of
mental distress, as is burial before
death. The unendurable ling fumes
from the damp earth–the clinging to the
death garments–the rigid embrace of
the narrow house–the blackness of the
absolute Night–the silence like a sea
"The Pit and the
A torture chamber
Another of Poe's more
popular works. It's the story
of a man's attempt to survive
in a torture chamber during
the Spanish Inquisition, one
of the most deadly
inquisitions in history. This
isn't really a horror story. It's
more of a suspenseful
thriller. If you had been
sentenced to death in a
torture chamber, what would
you do? and what's in the
"The Murders in the
A detective story
Poe invented the detective story with
this tale. The main character is C.
Auguste Dupin, a sleuth that solves
crimes by deduction. Two women
have been brutally murdered and it
appears that there was no way in or
out of the room where the murders
took place. How does Dupin figure it
out? Who killed the women? (They
didn't kill each other)
A reporter asked Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle in 1894 if he had been
influenced by the work of Edgar Allan
Poe. The creator of Sherlock Holmes
replied, "Oh, immensely! His
detective is the best detective in
"The Masque of the
The horror of the plague
The "Red Death" is a
plague which has killed off
half of the population.
Prince Prospero gathers a
thousand people from the
knights and royalty. They
seal themselves off from
the rest of the world in an
extensive castle, in an
attempt to separate
themselves from the
horrible conditions on the
outside. But, can they
escape the Red Death?
Conversation with a
After hypnotizing a
dying patient, a doctor
has a remarkable
conversation with him
about the nature of the
universe, spirits, and
A haunting supernatural tale
The narrator of the story
describes his beautiful wife,
Ligeia. She was tall and slender
with pale skin and long black
hair. She dies and he is
heartbroken. Some time later he
decides to move on with his life
and he remarries. Strange things
start to happen as the narrator
thinks more and more about his
first love, Ligeia...