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Edgar Allan Poe (Едгар Алан По)
Edgar Allan Poe
This of Poe was taken in 1848 when he was 39, a year before his death.
Edgar Allan Poe (, – , ) was an , , , and , and is considered part of the in the United States. Best known for his tales of and the , Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and invented the genre. He is also credited with contributing to the emerging genre of . He was the first American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
He was born Edgar Poe in , . His parents died when he was young, after which he was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of , , who never formally adopted him. Poe grew up in relative wealth. After his short period at the and brief attempt at a military career, Poe and the Allans parted ways. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian". He soon moved to , , to live with blood relatives, and switched his focus from poetry to prose. He spent the next several years working for various literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including , ; and , . In Baltimore in 1835, he married , his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "", to instant success. His wife died of two years later. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed ), though he died before it could be produced. On , , at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is undetermined and has been attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, , drugs, , , suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.
Poe's legacy includes a significant influence in literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as and . Poe and his works appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, television, and video games. Some of his homes are dedicated museums today.
Life and career
This bust of Edgar Allan Poe is found at the where, having lost his tuition due to gambling, he dropped out in 1827.
Poe was born Edgar Poe to a family in , on , . He was the second child of actress and actor David Poe, Jr. Edgar Poe had an elder brother, William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, Rosalie Poe. His father abandoned their family in 1810, and his mother died a year later from . Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in , who dealt in a variety of goods including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and . The Allans served as a foster family but never formally adopted Poe, though they gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe".
The Allan family had young Edgar baptized in the in 1812. John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son. The family, including Edgar and Allan's wife, Frances Valentine Allan, sailed to England in 1815. Edgar attended the Grammar School in , Scotland (where John Allan was born) for a short period in 1815, before rejoining the family in London in 1816. He studied at a boarding school in until summer 1817. He was subsequently entered at Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School at , then a suburb four miles (6 km) north of London.
Poe moved back with the Allans to Richmond, Virginia in 1820. In 1825, John Allan's friend and business benefactor William Galt, said to be the wealthiest man in Richmond, died and left Allan several acres of real estate. The inheritance was estimated at $750,000. By summer 1825, Allan celebrated his expansive wealth by purchasing a two-story brick home named Moldavia. Poe may have become engaged to before he registered at the one-year old in February 1826 to study languages. The University, in its infancy, was established on the ideals of its founder, .