His Life: – College Essay Essay

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Edgar Allen Poe was born January 19, 1809 in Boston to Elizabeth Arnold Poe, an English born

actress, and David Poe, Jr., an actor from Baltimore, Maryland. His mother tragically died in 1811.

The young Edgar Allen went to live with his godfather, John Allen, and his wife who were childless.

From 1815 to 1820, his godfather sent him to England and Scotland to begin his classical education. When

he returned to Richmond Virginia in the United States, he studied Greek, Latin, French, Spanish and

Italian. He a was bright young kid, but while at a university, he gambled so excessively that John Allen

pulled him out and wouldn’t let him continue. Upon returning to Richmond from the university, Edgar

Allen Poe was heartbroken when he found his girlfriend, Elmira Royster, engaged to another man. He left

his home once more, this time going to Boston where he published a pamphlet of poems entitled

Tamerlane and Other Poems. Some of the poems in this collection are written for his lost love, Elmira.

Edgar Allen Poe had become incredibly poor. Publishing small works did not bring in the amount of

money he was accustomed to living with. Because of his lack of money, he decided to join the army

under a false name- Edgar A. Perry. When his foster mother died, John Allen bought Poe a release from

the army, and helped to get him appointed at a United States Military Academy at West Point. Before

leaving for military school, he published Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. Poe hated military

school and successfully got himself expelled by being absent from all the drills and classes for a straight


Poe went to New York City briefly after this incident, and then returned to Baltimore where he wrote MS.

Found in a Bottle and won $50 for it in a contest. In 1835, he became the editor of the Southern Literary

Messenger in Richmond and made a name for himself as a critical reviewer.

Now, in his mid twenties, Poe began to think of marriage. He found himself strongly attracted to his 13

year old cousin, Virginia Clemm, and married her. His poem To My Mother was really written to his aunt

and mother-in-law, Mrs. Maria Clemm. He was known to be a loving husband to his cousin of 13.

Poe had a problem with drinking. He was fired from his job as editor because of this habit and while he

did not get drunk often, he was occasionally known to make a scene a scene. Contrary to gossip, he was

not a drug addict, he had a brain lesion and this is where his fevered dreams and intense nightmares came


Poe went on to write for and edit many papers and magazines which were often published and were

responsible for making him famous.During 1845, a famous, yet older poet, Frances Sergeant Locke

Osgood, heartlessly pursued Edgar. His young wife, Virginia, didn’t object to this relationship, but

“Fanny’s” indiscreet writing about her literary love caused some intense scandals. His wife, Virginia, died

in January of 1847. The next year, Poe left for Providence, Rhode Island, to pursue Sarah Ellen

Whitman, yet another poet. They were engaged briefly, and he had many close platonic relationships with

a lots of women, and of these women he seemed to favor poets.

In 1849, Poe returned to Richmond where he found his lost love Elmira once more. She was now the

widowed Mrs. Shelton, and he finally became engaged to her. Yet, even after getting the love of his life,

he had yet another incredibly close friendship with a poet by the name of Susan Archer Talley.

October 7, 1849 he began to drink heavily. His heart was weak and couldn’t take the stress of the excess

alcohol, and he died that day. He is buried, we believe, in West Minister Presbyterian church yard in

Baltimore, although there is some question about his place of rest.

Edgar Allen Poe was an amazing author who wrote from his soul. I am a great fan of his, but I must admit

that in his life, he wasn’t as wonderful as his work. He married a girl who had barely hit puberty, had

affairs and “close friendships” with many women, none of which stopped after finally getting his true love.

Being such a big believer in true, everlasting love depicted in some of his poems it is unfortunate that he

did not live up to his own ideals. He over drank, finally killing himself of it, and could not stay faithful to

one woman even when she was the one he had always loved so intensely.

Poe was a deep feeling man who wrote inspiring and adored works. I believe his works, which have

contributed to society, are what we should remember him by, not his lifestyle. Edgar Allen Poe will live

through his literary works forever.

The Edgar Allen Poe Museum of Richmond, Virginia:

Poe’s parents were married in Richmond, and here Poe’s gifted actress

mother died. The Elizabeth Arnold Poe Memorial Building, named in her honor, houses items the poet

would have known: a staircase from the 14th Street Allan home; furnishings from the Moldavia mansion;

a desk and chair from the Messenger offices. There are a number of Poe’s documents highlighting his

career, and a gallery of photographs, daguerreotypes, and paintings of his family and friends.

The Memorial Building also contains the massive memorial sculpture, by

Richard H. Park, honoring Poe and his parents. This magnificent work, commissioned by New York

actors and executed in Florence Italy, was unveiled on May 4, 1885 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in

New York City and came to the Poe museum on permanent loan in 1993.

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