Edgar Allan Poe is one of the greatest masters of the macabre. He captured the dark nature the human spirit and the tragedy of death brilliantly in his clever writings. Much of his inspiration stems from his dark unhappy life.
He was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His parents, David Poe and Elizabeth Arnold Poe were both actors. His father was an alcoholic and would sometime appear on stage drunk. He abandoned his family when Edgar was quite young and died shortly after. His mother was left to care for him and his two other siblings all by herself. She died of tuberculosis when Poe was only three years old. He was then taken in by a well to do merchant in Richmond Virginia by then name of John Allan. He was baptized Edgar Allan Poe. Although he was taken in by the family he was never legally adopted. Poe received the best education. As a child he studied in England at Stoke Newinton, not to far from London. He then attended the University of Virginia in the mid 1820�s. While there he took to drinking and gambling. After he ran up a hefty gambling debt John Allan refused to give him any more financial support and Poe was no longer able to attend school anymore. In addition to this John Allan broke off his engagement to Sarah Elmira Royster, a women who Poe was madly in love with. Mr. Allan even went so far as to intercept the letters she wrote to Poe. Ultimately Poe and Allan became bitter enemies and Poe was cut completely from his will. Poe then went on to join the army under an assumed name. He later attended West Point but was soon discharged. He then went to live with Maria Clemm. In 1836 he married her 13 year old daughter Virginia Clemm. She died in 1847 of the same disease and at the same age as his mother. Her death furthered his addiction to alcohol and she became the subject of his poem Annabel Lee.
He spent most of his life struggling to become a great well know writer. He worked in the literary field. He would make frequent moves to find employment. He worked in Richmond as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. He also at one point held a job as co-editor on Gentleman�s Magazine. His first publication was released in 1827. He published Tamerlane and Other Poems. He later went on to publish other works, but he always had to struggle to survive. His greatest literary achievement during his lifetime was the publication of The Raven in 1845. Shortly before his death he reunited with his long lost love, Sarah Elmira Royster, who was quite wealthy after an inheritance left her by her first husband. They quickly became engaged once again and had planned to marry as soon as they could. While on a brief business trip Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore in a delirious state. He was taken to the hospital where he died shortly after October 7, 1849. His death is shrouded in mystery. The exact causes are unknown. Some have speculated that he died of rabies while other suggest that he died from injuries received from a severe beating. The ones thought to be responsible for this attack are believed to be either people from a voting gang or Rooster�s brothers who disapproved of her engagement to him.
Poe�s life and death was as sad and tragic as his tales and poems. Although his life was not terribly long his dark imagination lives on today in books that continue to be read by many.