By Edgar Allan Poe
Poet and writer of tales, was born at Boston, where his parents, who were both actors, were temporarily living. He was left an orphan in early childhood in destitute circumstances, but was adopted by a Mr. Allan of Richmond, Virginia. By him and his wife he was treated with great indulgence, and in 1815 accompanied them to England, where they remained for five years, and where he received a good education, which was continued on their return to America, at the University of Virginia. He distinguished himself as a student, but got deeply into debt with gaming, which led to his being removed. In 1829 he published a small volume of poems containing Al Araaf and Tamerlane. About the same time he proposed to enter the army, and was placed at the Military Academy at West Point. Here, however, he grossly neglected his duties, and fell into the habits of intemperance which proved the ruin of his life, and was in 1831 dismissed. He then returned to the house of his benefactor, but his conduct was so objectionable as to lead to a rupture. In the same year Poe published an enlarged edition of his poems, and in 1833 was successful in a competition for a prize tale and a prize poem, the tale being the Ms. Found in a Bottle, and the poem The Coliseum. In the following year Mr. Allan died without making any provision for Poe, and the latter, being now thrown on his own resources, took to literature as a profession, and became a contributor to various periodicals.
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About the Author
Creator of the modern detective story, innovative architect of the horror genre, and a poet of extraordinary musicality, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) remains one of America’s most popular and influential writers. His books of collected tales and poems brim with psychological depth, almost painful intensity, and unexpected — and surprisingly modern — flashes of dark humor and irony.