Edgar Allan Poe (Critical Lives)
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Welcome to Rook Mountain, a town with a supernatural secret. Don't break any rules and you'll be fine. A collection of short stories. A collection of poignant short stories that resonate for women. A look at the plight and privilege, and ups and downs of childhood. Review "This [book] fills the significant need for a well-researched, short biography of Edgar Allan Poe that is useful to both scholars and general readers.
Reaktion Books; Revised edition September 15, Language: Library of America, Cambridge, Belknap Press, Each poem is introduced with excellent documentation about possible inspirations, its publishing history, and the changes Poe made to it over time. Almost every known letter written by Edgar Allan Poe is compiled with great background information about each.
Each tale contains extensive annotations including definitions of words and explanations of certain allusions. Barbara Cantalupo, Poe and the Visual Arts. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Press of Virginia, Thomas Inge, The Incredible Mr. Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia who dealt in a variety of goods, including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves.
The Allan family had Poe baptized in the Episcopal Church in John Allan alternately spoiled and aggressively disciplined his foster son. There he studied at a boarding school in Chelsea until summer Poe moved with the Allans back to Richmond, Virginia in In , Poe served as the lieutenant of the Richmond youth honor guard as Richmond celebrated the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette. Poe may have become engaged to Sarah Elmira Royster before he registered at the one-year-old University of Virginia in February to study ancient and modern languages.
It had strict rules against gambling, horses, guns, tobacco, and alcohol, but these rules were generally ignored. Jefferson had enacted a system of student self-government, allowing students to choose their own studies, make their own arrangements for boarding, and report all wrongdoing to the faculty. The unique system was still in chaos, and there was a high dropout rate.
Poe claimed that Allan had not given him sufficient money to register for classes, purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan did send additional money and clothes, but Poe's debts increased.
He traveled to Boston in April , sustaining himself with odd jobs as a clerk and newspaper writer. Poe was unable to support himself, so he enlisted in the United States Army as a private on May 27, , using the name "Edgar A. He claimed that he was 22 years old even though he was Poe was promoted to "artificer", an enlisted tradesman who prepared shells for artillery , and had his monthly pay doubled. He revealed his real name and his circumstances to his commanding officer, Lieutenant Howard. Howard would only allow Poe to be discharged if he reconciled with John Allan and wrote a letter to Allan, who was unsympathetic.
Several months passed and pleas to Allan were ignored; Allan may not have written to Poe even to make him aware of his foster mother's illness. Frances Allan died on February 28, , and Poe visited the day after her burial. Perhaps softened by his wife's death, John Allan agreed to support Poe's attempt to be discharged in order to receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe was finally discharged on April 15, , after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him.
Poe traveled to West Point and matriculated as a cadet on July 1, On February 8, , he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes, or church. Poe tactically pleaded not guilty to induce dismissal, knowing that he would be found guilty.
He left for New York in February and released a third volume of poems, simply titled Poems. They may have been expecting verses similar to the satirical ones that Poe had been writing about commanding officers. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated". The book once again reprinted the long poems "Tamerlane" and "Al Aaraaf" but also six previously unpublished poems, including early versions of " To Helen ", " Israfel ", and " The City in the Sea ". His elder brother Henry had been in ill health, in part due to problems with alcoholism, and he died on August 1, After his brother's death, Poe began more earnest attempts to start his career as a writer.
He chose a difficult time in American publishing to do so. After his early attempts at poetry, Poe had turned his attention to prose. He placed a few stories with a Philadelphia publication and began work on his only drama Politian. Found in a Bottle ". Kennedy , a Baltimorean of considerable means. He helped Poe place some of his stories, and introduced him to Thomas W. White, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe became assistant editor of the periodical in August ,  but was discharged within a few weeks for having been caught drunk by his boss.
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He was reinstated by White after promising good behavior, and went back to Richmond with Virginia and her mother. He remained at the Messenger until January During this period, Poe claimed that its circulation increased from to 3, On May 16, , he and Virginia Clemm held a Presbyterian wedding ceremony at their Richmond boarding house, with a witness falsely attesting Clemm's age as He published numerous articles, stories, and reviews, enhancing his reputation as a trenchant critic which he had established at the Southern Literary Messenger. In June , Poe published a prospectus announcing his intentions to start his own journal called The Stylus.
Around this time, he attempted to secure a position within the Tyler administration , claiming that he was a member of the Whig Party. One evening in January , Virginia showed the first signs of consumption, now known as tuberculosis , while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat.
Poe began to drink more heavily under the stress of Virginia's illness. He left Graham's and attempted to find a new position, for a time angling for a government post. He returned to New York where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal and, later, sole owner.
A Whig Journal under the pseudonym "Quarles". The Broadway Journal failed in That home, since relocated to a park near the southeast corner of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road, is now known as the Poe Cottage. Nearby he befriended the Jesuits at St.
John's College, now Fordham University. Poe was increasingly unstable after his wife's death. Their engagement failed, purportedly because of Poe's drinking and erratic behavior. There is also strong evidence that Whitman's mother intervened and did much to derail their relationship.
On October 3, , Poe was found delirious on the streets of Baltimore, "in great distress, and Walker who found him. He is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say that Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul".
Edgar Allan Poe
Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as "congestion of the brain" or "cerebral inflammation", common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. It was soon published throughout the country. The piece began, "Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday.
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This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. Griswold somehow became Poe's literary executor and attempted to destroy his enemy's reputation after his death. Rufus Griswold wrote a biographical article of Poe called "Memoir of the Author", which he included in an volume of the collected works.
Griswold depicted Poe as a depraved, drunken, drug-addled madman and included Poe's letters as evidence. For example, it is now known that Poe was not a drug addict.