EAST COAST BOY
• Born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts
• Parents: David and Elizabeth Poe, both of whom died before Edgar was
--They were both actors.
• Siblings: Henry and Rosalie.
• Raised by: Frances and John Allan in Virginia
--The couple was wealthy so Edgar went to good schools.
--He even studied in England for 5 years from ages 6-11.
• Edgar was never adopted by them and harbored resentment about this
• His brother and sister were raised separately.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
• Began in 1826
• Studied Latin and French
• Began to gamble and
• Began to drink heavily
• Quit the school after a
• Had a falling out with
Joined 1827 at the age of eighteen.
Served two years
Attained the rank of sergeant major
Published his first poem: “Dreams” in the Baltimore North American
Published his first book Tamerlane and Other Poems
THE NEXT MOVE?
• Frances Allan dies, Edgar tries to reconcile w/
• Moves in with his grandmother and aunt, Mrs.
Clemm. His brother Henry and cousin Virginia
also live there.
• Enters Westpoint in 1829 but is dismissed a year
• He moves New York City in 1831 and began to
• Submitted stories to a number of magazines, all
• Poe begs Allan for help, none comes
• John Allan dies in 1834
--Edgar is not mentioned in the will
• He becomes a newspaper editor in 1835.
--Successful editor of Southern Literary Messenger in
• Wins a contest with his story “The Manuscript Found
in a Bottle”
• Brings Mrs. Clemm and Virginia to live with him in
EDGAR FINDS LOVE AT LAST
• Marries his cousin Virginia in 1836.
--He was 27, she 13
• Poe leaves the paper
• Moves around some (New York, Philadelphia)
First volume of short stories published
--Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque
• Still struggling financially
• Also publishes only novel, The Narrative
of Arthur Gordon Pym
TRYING TO STAY AFLOAT
• He becomes Editor for Graham's Magazine in 1840.
--successful editor and essayist
--publishes more stories
• He leaves in 1842 because he wanted to start his own magazine.
• Begins The Stylus
--it is a failure
• He then gets a string of jobs, all short term
--still struggling financially
• Begins work at The Broadway Journal in 1845.
TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN
• His wife Virginia dies in 1847.
• A bereaved Poe collapses from stress and later turns to alcohol.
POE’S FINAL YEARS: 1847-1849
• Goes back to Richmond
• Joins “The Sons of Temperance” to attempt to stop
• Renews boyhood romance w/ Sarah Royster
• Plans to marry her that October
Sarah, as she was when Poe first loved her.
POE’S FINAL DAYS: 1849
• September 27, Poe leaves Richmond for New York, via Philadelphia
• September 30, heads to New York, takes the wrong train, ends up in
• October 3, Poe is found at Gunner's Hall
--taken to a hospital
• October 7, 1849, Poe dies in Baltimore
• No one knows for sure what happened the last few days of his life
--theories include: alcohol poisoning, mugging, murder, and
• Poe is best known for his scary, short stories but also wrote
• Some of his most famous works:
--”The Tell-Tale Heart”
--”The Pit and the Pendulum”
• Poe is considered the father of horror and the father of mystery
--Steven King, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle