“It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.” Edgar Allan Poe is truly ingenious and imaginative. For the month of April, the poet that I admire most takes the stage. He needs no further introduction, however, below is a somewhat short biography of the man who continues to inspire people to this day.
Edgar Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His parents were David and Elizabeth Poe. David was born in Baltimore on July 18, 1784. Elizabeth Arnold came to the U.S. from England in 1796 and married David Poe after her first husband died in 1805. They had three children, Henry, Edgar, and Rosalie. Edgar Allan went to the University of Virginia in 1826. He was 17. Even though John Allan had plenty of money, he only gave Edgar about a third of what he needed. Although Edgar had done well in Latin and French, he started to drink heavily and quickly became in debt. He had to quit school less than a year later.
In 1831, Edgar Allan Poe went to New York City where he had some of his poetry published. He submitted stories to a number of magazines and they were all rejected. Poe had no friends, no job, and was in financial trouble. He sent a letter to John Allan begging for help but none came. John Allan died in 1834 and did not mention Edgar in his will.
In 1835, Edgar finally got a job as an editor of a newspaper because of a contest he won with his story, “The Manuscript Found in a Bottle“. Edgar missed Mrs. Clemm and Virginia and brought them to Richmond to live with him. In 1836, Edgar married his cousin, Virginia. He was 27 and she was 13.
Sometime in 1840, Edgar Poe joined George R. Graham as an editor for Graham’s Magazine. During the two years that Poe worked for Graham’s, he published his first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and challenged readers to send in cryptograms, which he always solved. During the time Poe was editor, the circulation of the magazine rose from 5000 to 35,000 copies. Poe left Graham’s in 1842 because he wanted to start his own magazine.
On September 27, Poe left Richmond for New York. He went to Philadelphia and stayed with a friend named James P. Moss. On September 30, he meant to go to New York but supposedly took the wrong train to Baltimore. On October 3, Poe was found at Gunner’s Hall, a public house at 44 East Lombard Street, and was taken to the hospital. He lapsed in and out of consciousness but was never able to explain exactly what happened to him. Edgar Allan Poe died in the hospital on Sunday, October 7, 1849.
The mystery surrounding Poe’s death has led to many myths and urban legends. The reality is that no one knows for sure what happened during the last few days of his life.