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Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849). Early Life. Orphaned before his third birthday Taken in by John and Frances Allan Grew up feeling both the lack of a natural father and the disapproval of his foster father

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)


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Presentation Transcript
early life
Early Life
  • Orphaned before his third birthday
  • Taken in by John and Frances Allan
  • Grew up feeling both the lack of a natural father and the disapproval of his foster father
  • John Allan – made no secret of his disappointment in Edgar’s idleness, indifference to business life, and literary ambitions
adult life
Adult Life
  • University of Virginia at 17
  • Fell into debt due to gambling habits
  • Foster parents withdrew him from college
  • Fled to Boston  published a volume of poems (unsuccessful)  joined the army
  • Disliked army life, so John aided him financially one last time and helped him enter West Point Military Academy
a strange man
A Strange Man…
  • Dismissed himself from West Point and moved in with an aunt in Baltimore
  • Married her 13-year-old daughter
  • Supported the family by working as an editor at various magazines and wrote in his spare time
poe s legacy
Poe’s Legacy
  • Laid the foundation for the modern detective story – inspired “Sherlock Holmes”
  • Master of the psychological thriller
slide6

Poe’s Legacy Continued…

  • told tales of the ghastly and the grotesque…
    • sought to tell tales that took his audience “behind the curtain that separates the everyday from the incredible”
    • wanted to leave behind the “sunlit, tangible, rational world and discover the unsettling truth that lies in the dark, irrational

depths of the human

mind”

slide7

Poe’s Legacy Continued…

  • Suffered from a serious drinking problem and humiliating poverty, but still produced a considerable body of work
  • “The Raven” finally brought him some fame, but still no financial security
slide8

His wife died  he grew more and more unstable and sickly

  • Pursued romance relentlessly
  • Disappeared during a trip to visit a woman he hoped to marry – found a week later, delirious and in a tavern died 4 days later