Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) 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 (1827), credited only to “a Bostonian”.
Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven”, to instant success. However, on October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.
Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialised fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television and there are appreciation societies all around the world. A number of Poe’s homes are dedicated museums today.
- “The Black Cat”
- “The Cask of Amontillado”
- “A Descent into the Maelström”
- “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”
- “The Fall of the House of Usher”
- “The Gold-Bug”
- “The Imp of the Perverse”
- “The Masque of the Red Death”
- “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”
- “The Oval Portrait”
- “The Pit and the Pendulum”
- “The Premature Burial”
- “The Purloined Letter”
- “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”
- “The Tell-Tale Heart”