Edgar Allan Poe

Novelist, Author

1809 – 1849

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Who was Edgar Allan Poe?

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he was orphaned at a young age when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned the family. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. He attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. His publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems, credited only to "a Bostonian".

Famous Quotes:

  • They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity; and thrill; in waking; to find they have been upon the verge of the great secret.
  • Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.
  • I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
  • It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma... which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve.
  • That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
  • If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
  • The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.
  • That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.
  • Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
  • There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.

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Jan 19, 1809
Also known as
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Poe
  • Edgar Poe
  • Edgar Allan Poë
  • Edgar A. Poë
  • E.A. Poe
  • Edgar A. Poe
  • A bostonian
  • Edgar A. Perry
  • Scottish American
  • Scotch-Irish American
  • United States of America
  • University of Virginia
    (1826/02/14 - 1826/12)
  • United States Military Academy
    (1830 - 1831)
  • Graham's Magazine
    (1841/02 - 1842/04)
  • Broadway Journal
    (1845/01/04 - 1846)
  • Burton's Gentleman's Magazine
    (1839 - 1840/06)
  • The Stylus
Lived in
  • Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  • Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
  • Boston
    (1809/01/19 - )
  • Baltimore
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Richmond
    (1935/08 - )
  • Fordham
    (1846/05 - )
  • The Bronx
Oct 7, 1849
Resting place
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground

on July 23, 2013


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