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Edgar Allan Poe Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (33)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (5)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Baltimore, Maryland, USA  (unknown)
Birth NameEdgar Poe
Nickname Mr. Poe
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant in Richmond, Virginia, and was sent to a boarding school in London, England. He later attended the University of Virginia for one year, but dropped out and ran up massive gambling debts after spending all of his tuition money. John Allan broke off Poe's engagement to his fiancée Sarah Royster. Poe was heartbroken, traumatized, and broke. He had no way out and enlisted in the army in May of 1827. At the same time Poe published his first book, "Tamerlane and Other Poems" (1827). In 1829, he became a West Point cadet, but was dismissed after 6 months for disobedience. By that time he published "Al Aaraf" (1929) and "Poems by Edgar A. Poe" (1831), with the funds contributed by his fellow cadets. His early poetry, though written in the manner of Lord Byron, already shows the musical effects of his verses.

Poe moved in with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her teenage daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm, whom he married before she was 14 years old. He earned respect as a critic and writer. In his essays "The Poetic Principle" and "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe formulated important literary theories. But his career suffered from his compulsive behavior and from alcoholism. He did produce, however, a constant flow of highly musical poems, of which "The Raven" (1845) and "The Bells" (1849) are the finest examples. Among his masterful short stories are "Ligeia" (1838), "The Fall of the House of Usher"(1839) and "The Masque of the Red Death". Following his own theory of creating "a certain unique or single effect", Poe invented the genre of the detective story. His works: "The Murder in the Rue Morgue" (1841) is probably the first detective story ever published.

Just when his life began to settle, Poe was devastated by the death of his wife Virginia in 1847. Two years later he returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his former fiancée, Sarah Royster, who, by that time, was a widow. But shortly after their happy reconciliation he was found unconscious on a street in Baltimore. Poe was taken to the Washington College Hospital where Doctor John Moran diagnosed "lesions on the brain" (the Doctor believed Poe was mugged). He died 4 days later, briefly coming in and out of consciousness, just to whisper his last words, "Lord, help my poor soul." The real cause of his death is still unknown and his death certificate has disappeared. Poe's critic and personal enemy, named Rufus Griswold, published an insulting obituary; later he visited Poe's home and took away all of the writer's manuscripts (which he never returned), and published his "Memoir" of Poe, in which he forged a madman image of the writer.

The name of the woman in Poe's poem "Annabel Lee" was used by Vladimir Nabokov in 'Lolita' as the name for Humbert's first love, Annabelle Leigh. Nabokov also used in 'Lolita' some phrases borrowed from the poem of Edgar Allan Poe. "The Fall of the House of Usher" was set to music by Claude Debussy as an opera. Sergei Rachmaninoff created a musical tribute to Poe by making his favorite poem "The Bells" into the eponymous Choral Symphony.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Virginia Clemm (15 August 1835 - 20 January 1847) ( her death)

Trade Mark (3)

Dark, depressing imagery
Often wrote about the macabre
Almost always wore black

Trivia (33)

Has two siblings; brother William and sister Rosalie. His parents, David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Poe, were touring actors.
Studied in England from 1815-20.
Didn't earn a cent from his most famous poem, "The Raven", having published it first in a newspaper for free and losing any and all future copyright monies. The original title of "The Raven" was "To Lenore", but upon having dinner with Charles Dickens and learning of the great writer's recently deceased pet bird, which just happened to be a raven, Poe reworked the poem to include the black bird as a central figure. He wrote "The Raven" with the intent of creating what he called an "adult fairy tale", and when asked why he didn't start the poem with the traditional "Once upon a time" but used "Once upon a midnight dreary" he replied, "In my 'time' it's always 'midnight dreary.'" All of Poe's stories took place at night, or if a day scene was required, it was the bleakest, foulest day of the year.
Born Edgar Poe, he was raised in Richmond, VA, by the Allan family.
Virginia Clemm (b.1822) was his cousin/niece.
Pictured on a 3¢ US postage stamp in the Famous Americans/Poets series, issued 7 October 1949.
Appears on sleeve of The Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Considered by many to have invented the American horror story, science fiction, and the detective story.
The Edgar Awards for mystery literature was named in honor of his writing.
Was a sergeant major at West Point.
Wrote the first modern detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), introducing Auguste Dupin as first literary detective, who was eventually eclipsed by Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet" (1887), where was introduced Sherlock Holmes.
There is some mystery surrounding the actual conditions of his death. In October 1849 he was found lying in a gutter, drunk, barely conscious and wearing someone else's clothing. He died shortly thereafter of apparent alcohol poisoning. However, some historians believe that there may have been other reasons for his untimely demise. The most common theory is that he was a victim of a political kidnapping and made to vote in a local mayoral election while dressed up in different clothes and under the influence of massive amounts of alcohol, so that he would not remember anything. Others believe that he may have had a massive brain tumor that led to a stroke; this theory is aided somewhat by the fact that Poe had a rather large, oddly-shaped head.
Every year on the date of his birthday, a mystery man leaves a bottle of cognac and roses on Poe's grave in Baltimore, MD.
The NFL franchise Baltimore Ravens took its name from his famous poem, "The Raven". He, of course, was from Baltimore.
In the September 1996 edition of the "Maryland Medical Journal," Dr. R. Michael Benitez (who ran the coronary care unit at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and taught at the University of Maryland Medical Center) published his conclusion that Poe died of rabies contracted via an animal bite, probably from a pet cat. Poe's symptoms and death indicate he suffered from rabies, a viral encephalitis that attacks the brain and central nervous system. Rabies, which is transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal to the open wound of a new host, is characterized by hydrophobia (fear of water), wide fluctuations in pulse, perspiration, delirium, intense fever, confusion and coma. A patient typically seems to recover, then suffers a relapse. The clinical course of rabies is four days, after which the patient dies without treatment. These were Poe's symptoms, and his case lasted four days before he died. According to Benitez, only twice in recorded history has anyone survived rabies, and "they weren't quite the same people they were before", as rabies causes irrevocable brain damage. Poe kept cats, and although there is no record of his ever having been bitten, Benitez noted that only 27% of recent rabies victims ever remembered the bite. The incubation period can last up to a year. In Poe's time there was no treatment for rabies, which was invariably fatal. For Poe it was almost a case of life (and death) imitating art, an end as inevitable and as gruesome as the sufferings of his tortured characters.
Poe met Charles Dickens during the Englishman's 1842 tour of America. On March 6, 1842, Poe and Dickens arranged to meet while he was in Philadelphia. Dickens had been greatly impressed by Poe's ability to guess the ending of his 1841 serialized novel "Barnaby Rudge". In the "Saturday Evening Post" edition of May 1841, Poe had reviewed the work, which was being published serially in a magazine a chapter at a time. At the meeting, Dickens agreed to consider writing for the magazine that Poe edited, "Graham's", and to try to find an English publisher for Poe's "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque". Nothing of substance came from either promise. Curiously, Dickens owned a pet raven named Grip, and he had introduced the loquacious raven into "Barnaby Rudge" as a character. In his May 1841 review, Poe commented on the use of the talking raven, saying the bird should have loomed larger in the plot. Literary experts surmise that the talking raven of "Barnaby Rudge" inspired Poe's most famous poem, "The Raven", published in 1845. After Grip died in 1841, Dickens had the bird mounted. It now resides at the Free Library on Logan Circle in Philadelphia, PA.
Many scholars believe that he suffered from clinical depression.
Desperately wanted to become a Freemason, but they refused to consider him for membership.
When he was 2-1/2 years old he became (for all intents and purposes) orphaned, as his father had abandoned him and his mother died of tuberculosis. He was then taken in by John Allan and his wife Frances Keeling (nee Valentine and who inspired his later poem "My Valentine"). As he had lost his mother Elizabeth to tuberculosis in 1811, so he lost his new "mother", Frances, to chronic illness in 1829. As his father David had abandoned his family, so his new "father' John Allan abandoned his family at regular intervals to go on infidelity "sprees", and Poe became estranged from him when he tried to hold him to account for his bouts of adultery. John also left Edgar out of his will (along with two other children he fathered out of wedlock) and remarried after Frances died. His new wife, Louisa Gabriella Patterson, became a thorn in Edgar's side and contributed to the increasing impossibility of any reconciliation of Edgar and John, who (like Edgar's biological father) died of alcoholism. During the last time that Edgar ever saw John, she didn't try to stop her husband from threatening Edgar, or even try to make peace between the two.
Was expelled from West Point for "gross neglect of duty".
In Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the teenage Holmes and Watson were fans of Poe's writing.
In the remake of "Ladykillers", the chief villain was a fan of Poe.
In a strange turn of events, his first post-mortem biography was written and told by his greatest literary enemy, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who often invented details of Poe's life in order to libel him (as, for example, his supposed alcoholism--Poe had congenital intolerance to it and he was unable to drink alcohol), caused among other reasons by their rivalry for the love of writer Frances Sargent Osgood. It turned into one of the most important cases of defamation in the entire 19th century.
In his last years he was a member of the Sons of Temperance, a society founded in 1842 to campaign against alcohol consumption.
Member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville (established in 1825 by 16 disgruntled members of the now-defunct Patrick Henry Society). Fellow members include US President Woodrow Wilson, US President James Madison (Honorary), Marquis De Lafayette (Honorary), William Faulkner (Honorary) and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Honorary).
Had a cousin named Larkin Poe, who is the great-great-great-grandfather of musicians Rebecca Lovell and Megan Lovell. Their band 'Larkin Poe' was named after him.
Upon being admitted to the asylum where he would soon die, it was reported that he was largely incoherent and unaware of his surroundings.
The Raven (2012) is loosely inspired in his last days.
In Spanish and Latin countries his last name is often times misspelled verbatim as "poe", instead the real and phonetic "pou".
His most famous stories were produced in a series of successful films by Hollywood during the 1960s.
Like a lot of authors from his era, Edgar Allan Poe made little to no money from his writing. Quite often, he was on the breadline.
At one stage early on in life, Edgar Allan Poe had an addiction to gambling. After a while, his debts amounted to approximately $400 in those days.

Personal Quotes (10)

There lives no man who at some period has not been tormented by an earnest desire to tantalize a listener by circumlocution.
The ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.
Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast--perhaps the larger--portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.
Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.
The question has not been settled whether madness is a higher form of intelligence.
I became insane, with terrible stretches of sanity.
Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
Years of love have been forgot in the hatred of a minute.
I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

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