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Edgar Allan Poe: ‘Raven’ of American literature

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Published on : 07 October 2018, 09:01 AM
Edgar Allan Poe: ‘Raven’ of American literature
 
 
Edgar Allan Poe was the son of Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe, street theater actors, who left him an orphan at the age of just two years. He was educated by John Allan, a wealthy businessman from Richmond, and from 1815 to 1820 he lived with him and his wife in the United Kingdom, where he began his education. 
The Allan family welcomed Edgar the child, but they never adopted him formally although they gave him the name of "Edgar Allan Poe".
After returning to the United States, Edgar Allan Poe continued studying in private schools and attended the University of Virginia. But in 1827, his love of gambling and drinking led to his expulsion. Shortly after leaving the post of the employee which his foster father had assigned, he traveled to Boston where he published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems. 
He then joined the army, where he remained two years. In 1829, he published his second book of poems, Al Aaraaf, and obtained, under the influence of his adoptive father, a position in the Military Academy of West Point. However, after a few months, he was expelled for negligence in performing his duty. 
Misery and hunger accompanied him all his life, for economic reasons, he soon began writing prose, short stories and literary criticism for some newspapers. His works attracted attention for a caustic and elegant style of writing. Due to his work, he lived in several cities: Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. In Baltimore, in 1835, he married his cousin Virginia Clemm, who was 13 years old at that time. On January 1845, he published a poem that would make him famous: "The Raven". His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. Still sunk in desolation, the author wrote the poem in 1848, "Eureka: A Prose Poem ". With the death of Virginia, Poe`s life fell apart.
He died on October 7, 1849. The cause of his death is still a mystery. There have been many assumptions about his death, which include suicide, murder, cholera, hypoglycemia, rabies, syphilis, influenza, and that Poe was a victim of cooping. His last words were " Lord, help my poor soul". 
Days after his death, his enemy Rufus Griswold, wrote a biography of Poe portraying him as a drunk, immoral and "womanizer". But this vain attempt to defame the brilliant author ends up raising the sales of his books. Poe is also known as the most renowned literary critic of the United States. 
Today he is recognized as the inventor of modern detective stories. Although his fame is due more to his tales of terror. 
Today is October 7, 2018, which marks the 169th death anniversary of this great American writer. People across the world remember him with the utmost respect. America will once again gather at Poe`s gravesite in the Westminster Cemetery, 519 East Fayette Street in downtown Baltimore to pay homage to its one of the greatest writers of all time. 



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