Edgar Allan Poe: The Man Behind The Mystery
Poe was born on January 19, 1809 to actors David and Elizabeth Arnold Poe. Orphaned at a young age, he was taken in and adopted by John and Frances Allan. At eighteen he published his first book of poetry. He attended the University of Virginia, but was summoned home by Allan after accumulating numerous gambling debts. Eventually, Allan disowned him. After a two-year stint in the army, Poe established a successful editing career in Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York. He was also a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines. He married Virginia Clemm, his thirteen-year-old cousin, in 1836. The marriage was happy, although troublesome. He gained financial responsibility for a mother in law as well as a wife, which caused him to work twice as hard in order to support the three of them. Virginia was made an invalid by tuberculosis and remained in this condition for five years until her death in 1847. Poe could not deal with the anguish caused by his wife?s death and began drinking heavily. He died on a street in Baltimore on October 7, 1849 (Literature, 38). (For a timeline of events from Poe?s life and photographs, see attachments 1 and 2).
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