The Life of Edgar Allan Poe
His father’s name was David Poe (1784-1810) while his mother’s was Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins (1787-1811) (Quinn 1997). He was born on January 19, 1809. A year after his birth, his father died, then a year later, her mother followed. Left as an orphan, Edgar was taken in by Frances and John Allan, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Virginia. In 1815, Poe went with the Allans to England where he studied in Chelsea. Five years later, he went back to study at the University of Virginia. In this school he considered Latin and poetry. In addition, Edgar was an active and athletic student, joining activities such as swimming and acting. A few years later, Edgar and John had a falling out due to Edgar’s debts and lack of responsibility. Unable to support his self, he enlisted in the U.S. army where he served for two years. In 1827, Edgar Poe published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems.
When Edgar’s foster mother died in 1827, he had a brief reconciliation with Allan and later entered West Point Military Academy but was dismissed after one year. In 1831, the same year his Poems were published, Edgar lived in with his aunt Maria Clemm in Baltimore. Eventually, he married Maria Clemm’s daughter, Virginia Eliza, in 1836, who was just a girl of thirteen. The only completed novel of Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was published in 1838. The story is about a Nantucket stowaway looking for adventure but the novel soon turns to a chilly story of murder and cannibalism. (Merriman 2007)
It was the years succeeding his marriage that the financial strains started to set in. The Panic of 1837 marking the "close of one epoch in our industrial history, and the beginning of a new era. It engulfed all classes and all phases of economic toils. and for seven long years the people of the land struggled to free themselves from its oppression," (McGrane). Aside from professional and personal struggles, Poe was also almost always in economic distress. frequently loaning and making literary hack works (Whalen 1999). It was these problems that made him understand the "sad poverty and the thousand consequent contumelies and other ills which the condition of the mere Magazinist entails upon him in America – where more than in any other region upon the face of the globe to be poor is to be despised."
After their marriage came the string of years of writing. It was in 1841 that the first detective story was ever written. The title was The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Their last residence was a cottage in the Fordham section of the Bronx. In 1847, Virginia died, Edgar Allan Poe was deeply saddened by the loss of his wife. Due to this, he frequently directed his attention to alcohol and was reportedly becoming more erratic. A year after Virginia’s death, he rekindled his affair with his childhood sweetheart in Richmond, Elmira Royster. In able to raise funds to start his own magazine (to be called Stylus) in 1849, Poe went on a poetry and lecture reading tour. But his hopes of starting his own magazine was never realized because of his sudden mysterious death on the 7th of October of that same year. (Merriman 2007)
There are several different theories that have been proposed concerning his death. Others say he died of alcoholism while others suggest different diseases. Still, others imply that Poe did not suffer a natural death but instead was murdered. For the past decades and until now, what really happened to Edgar Allan