The gothic short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe are so outstanding that they are still being read today. He only lived for forty years yet made such a huge impact on literature. Poe tells Thomas W. Fredrick in a letter, why he became a writer. ” Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path. “(Edgar Allan Poe’s Life, intro page) The word that best describes the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe would have to be mystery. Not only is it seen in his literary works, but in his life as well.
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809 to Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe Jr. His parents were both actors who hardly made enough money to live on. Edgar had two siblings, an older brother named William Henry, who lived with relatives in Baltimore, and a baby sister named Rosalie. When Edgar was about two years old, his father died, or disappeared (no one knows for sure). Shortly after, his mother died of tuberculosis, the two children were all alone. In 1811,a t the age of two, Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan. Mr. Allan Refused to adopt Edgar but said he could stay with them.
Rosalie was taken by another family. Poe lived in Richmond until he was six years old, then the Allans and Poe moved to Scotland. Poe attended school at Irvine Grammar School and for several years at Manor House School in Stoke Newington. (The Manor may have been reproduced in some of the darkly romantic houses in Poe’s stories). When Edgar was eleven the Allan’s returned to Richmond. There he went to school at an English and Classical School attended by the more wealthy children. At this time, Edgar began to notice how diffrent he was and began to feel bitterness towards his mother and Mr. Allan.
He expressed his feelings at age sixteen, when he began to write poems and short stories. He became very arrogant and didn’t get along with anyone. When Edgar was seventeen years old, Mr. Allan sent him to the U. of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1825, Edgar secretly engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster, who was only sixteen years old. At college, Edgar continuously drank, gambled, and fought. He began to drink and gamble so much, that he fell into debt so far that he couldn’t pay his losses. Mr. Allan could no longer tolerate Poe’s behavior so he withdrew him from school and put him to work at his counting house all within one year.