Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 - 1849

portrait of Edgar Allan Poe
Photo by C. T. Talman (1904)
Edgar Allan Poe signature
1811

Born: 19 January 1809, Boston, Massachusetts
Died: 7 October 1849, Baltimore, Maryland

Born Edgar Poe, his parents were itinerant actors. His father had already abandoned his family when he died a year later, his mother died in 1813 and Edgar Was raised by wealthy Virginia tobacco merchant John Allan, providing him with a middle name and several years education in England. He went to the University of Virginia for a year but was expelled for unpaid gambling debts. John Allan refused to cover the IOUs and disowned his foster son. In 1827 Poe joined the army under an assumed name, rising to Sergeant Major before leaving, only to enter West Point. Again he left after a year, this time intentionally getting himself court martialed. Inspired by the prize from a literary competition, he set out to live entirely on his writing income which was meager and sporadic. (He sold The Raven for only $15.00.) He married a young cousin in 1836 but her health was poor and for much of their marriage she was an invalid. After her death he was increasingly depressed and alcohol got the better of him. Despite that he was a major contributor to science fiction (Jules Verne was a great admirer of his work), wrote the first modern detective stories, and was regarded as one of the most accomplished literary critics of his era. His first volume, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was printed at his own expense; only twelve copies are known to exist, one of which holds the record for the most valuable literary work of an American author. On election day in 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and wearing someone else's clothing, he died in hospital four days later.

Most of these quotes are from his prose work, the Wikiquote link below has a significant amount of his poetry, and The Raven is in our Specials collection.

Biography from Wikipedia and Author's Calendar

Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.

Edgar Allan Poe quotes:

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