15 Jan Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allen Poe
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809, and was a poet, literary critic, editor, and writer. Edgar Allan Poe was best known for his short stories and poetry, especially those that delved into the macabre, supernatural, and mystery. He is considered a central figure in the Romanticism movement in the United States and American Literature.
Edgar was one of the American’s who proactive the short story format. The author is also credited with contributing to the creation of weird fiction, science fiction, supernatural horror and influencing innumerable future authors of the genre.
Edgar was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the second son of actor David and Elizabeth Poe. Unfortunately, his father left the family in the year 1870, and tragically his mother died the following year, leaving Edgar and his siblings orphaned. Edgar found a home with the couple John and Frances Allan in Richmond, Virginia; though the couple looked after Edgar and did their best to make sure he was never lacking, they never formally adopted him.
Edgar would frequently have bouts of discussions with his father figure regarding his financial situation. Edgar was a known gambler and acquired debts and expected his parental surrogates to help with these and pay for his education.
He attended the University of Virginia for a year but had to drop out of the program due to funding. He once again asked for Allen’s help but was denied, and Edgar found no other recourse but to join the United States Army in 1827 under a false name. While his time working in the army, he managed to start his publishing career. The anonymous publishing of the collection Tamerlane and Other Poems published under the name de plume “A Bostonian.”
Unfortunately, his would-be mother figure passed away in 1829; but her death saw a moment of peace between Edgar and Allan. The two finding their quarreling brought about more harm than good.
Poe later dropped out of West point after failing as an officer cadet. This brought about the firm decision that he would focus on life writing novels and poetry. He and Allan parted ways but were not at odds against each other.
Poe found tremendous success working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming well known and feared for his literary criticism. His employment saw him move among various cities such as Baltimore, New York City, and Philadelphia. Edgar took a wife, his 13-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm, who unfortunately died of tuberculosis in 1847.
One of his more famous poems, “The Raven,” found published in 1845 and was considered a complete success. Edgar had spent many years trying to form his publishing journal named “The Penn,” later known as “They Stylus” unfortunately, because of his death attributed to alcoholism, substance abuse disease, and even suicide, the project never saw fruition.
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Because of his lack of funds, Edgar Alan Poe was unable to maintain his lifestyle. He found himself enlisted in the United States Army on May 27, 1827, as a private going by the name “Edgar A. Perry.” He falsely claimed he was 22 years old while, in reality, he was only 18. He served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor for 5 dollars a month wage.
During this time, he released a 40-page collection of poetry known as “Tamerlane and Other Poems,” whose authorship was claimed as “by a Bostonian.” The book was largely ignored, and only was 50 copies were ever printed.
Edgar Allan aw the posted in For Moutrie located in Charleston, South Carolina, where he boarded the brig Waltham on November 8, 1827. There he received a promotion and given the title of “artificer.” This promotion saw him prepare shells for artillery and doubled his wages for the month. He worked at this position for two years them attaining the rank of Sergeant Major for Artillery. Edgar then found himself ending his five-year military career by revealing himself to be Edgar Allan Poe and his early enlistment circumstances.
The Commanding officer, Lieutenant Howard, agreed but only if Poe would reconcile with his father figure Allan. Edgar found himself writing to his father during the year, yet Allan, who seemed unmoved by his efforts, largely ignored the postage. It is suspected that Allan may have not even written back to Edgar to inform him of his foster mother’s medical condition.
Frances died on February 28, 1829. Edgar managed to visit the day after the funeral, and it was perhaps because of his wife’s death Allans position regarding Edgar changed, and he gave his permission so that Edgar could be discharged from the Army. He was then granted a post to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Discharged on April 15, 1829, Edgar mobbed back to Baltimore for a time.
He lived with his widowed aunt Maria Clemm, her daughter Virginia Eliza Clemm, his brother Henry and his grandmother Elizabeth Cairnes Poe. During this year, Egar received a letter from the highly regarded critic John Neal, encouraging Edgar. The words of support struck Poe hard, and he considered them to be the first words of encouragement he had ever received for his writing. Poe found himself dedicating one of his poems to Niel. The Al Aaraar from the Tamerlane and Minor Poems, which was printed in Baltimore in 1829.
After a year with his family, Edgar matriculated as a cadet in West point, and in October of 1830, Allan married his second wife, Louisa Patterson. The marriage was never peaceful. Edgar and Allan would frequently argue over the children born to Allen out of wedlock. After a series of discussions and quarrels, Allan finally had enough of Edgar and his aggressive nature and disowned Edgar.
Poe made the hard choice of leaving West Point by forcing a court-martial. On February 8, 1831, Edgar stood trial and was charged with gross neglect of his duties and disobedience of orders in the refusal to attend classes, formation, and attending church. Edgar pleads not guilty, triggering an automatic dismissal, as he knew he would be found guilty.
Edgar left to assume his position in New York in February of 1831; he also published his third volume of poems titled “Poems.” The publishing of the book was financed with the help of his fellow mates at West Point; many made a donation of 75 cents for the book to see print. He famously managed to raise a total of $170. He dedicated the printed book to “To the U.S Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated.” The book included the Tamerlane, Al Aaraaf, To Helen, Israfel, The city in the Sea.
The author then decided to return to Baltimore to live with his aunt, brother, and cousin in March 1831. He kept his older brother company, who had become ill; it is stated that his older brother Henry had problems with alcoholism that exacerbated his condition. Henry died on August 1, 1831.
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar was not only in love with writing; he was a deep thinker and lover of puzzles. He famously engaged in cryptography. His love for this skill had him place an advert in the Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, almost challenging readers to submit ciphers; he would take the time to engage and solve these puzzles. He was also a fan of secret messages and writings, going so far as writing an essay titled “A Few Words on Secret Writing” for Grahams Magazine.
This activity turned out to be a gold mine as it engaged readers. Edgar produced “The Gold-Bug,” a tale that contained ciphers and required readers to solve. While the story had a simple substitution cipher, the general audience was not keen on how it would work, and the author used this to his advantage.
― Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe’s death on October 7, 1948, has caught the public’s imagination and remains a mystery.
The particularities of the circumstances that led to his death are still uncertain and argued continuously and disputed. The author was found delirious in Baltimore, Maryland.
The witness Joseph W. Walker who saw him, claimed the man was “in great distress, and need of immediate assistance.” Edgar was taken to Washington College Hospital.
There he passed away at 5 a.am on October 7. Poe was only 40 and, during his time at the hospital, could not explain how he cane to be in such a weakened state.
Dr. John Joseph Moran, who attended to Poe, is the source of Edgars’ last days on earth. The attending physicians’ claims are suspect since his credibility is questionable. Edgar was buried with a small ceremony at the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground.
In 1875 his remains were moved to an enormous monument and the gravesite for his beloved Virginia and his mother-in-law, Maria.
Many theories about how The Raven passed; many speculate that cholera, hypoglycemia, rabies, syphilis, influence even murder and suicide were possible reasons. Rufus Griswold wrote an obituary with the pseudonym “Ludwig” Griswold that was named Poe’s Literary executor. Unknown at the time, Griswold was Poe’s enemy and, when publishing his biography, portrayed the poet as a depraved alcoholic who frequently abused drugs and mistreated those around him. His friends staunchly defended Poe, but the biography left a lasting impression on The Raven’s public perception.
Death of the Raven Timeline
Edgar Allen Poe left Richmond, Virginia, towards his New York dwelling. There are no real reliable sources of where he was or who he was with until October 3. The date he was found delirious at Ryan’s Tavern, aka Gunner’s Hall. Joseph W. Walker found the ill author and sent for help through a letter to Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass, a Poe friend.
There is a gentleman, somewhat the worse for wear, at Ryan’s 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A Poe, and who appears in great distress and he says he is acquainted with you, and I assure you, he is in need of immediate assistance.
Yours, in haste, Jos. W. Walker.
Dr. Joseph E. Snodgrass described Edgar’s apparency as “repulsive” his hair wild and unkempt, he appeared haggard, with his face unwashed and “lusterless and vacant eyes.” He described Poe’s clothing as dirty with unpolished shoes, worn which did not fit well. Dr. John Joseph Moran. Poe’s attending physician gave his account of Poe’s appearance as “a stained faded, old bombazine coat, pantaloons of similar character, a pair of worn-out shoes run down at the heal, and an old straw hat.”
Unfortunately, the poet was never in a condition to explain how he found himself in such a state. The clothes he wore seemed not to be his own since wearing such haggard, and damaged clothing was out of Edgar’s sense of style.
The author spent his last remaining days in the Washington College Hospital located at Broadway and Fayette Street. The author was kept in a section of the hospital reserved for intoxicated and drunk people. His room featured barred windows and doors, which called out a more prison like atmosphere than a primary hospital care facility. He was also denied visitation and kept away from the sight of the public.
Poe called out for “Reynolds” multiple times on the night of his passing during his delirium. Who the author was referring to is still a mystery. One possible answer could be Jeremiah N. Reynolds, an explorer and newspaper editor; even a possible inspiration for the protagonist of “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.” Yet another character could have been one of the judges present in the Fourth Ward Poll who might have encountered Edgar on Election Day.
It is possible that many may have misheard what Edgar was saying and could have been calling out “Herring,” the name of his uncle in law named Henry Herring.
Dr. John Joseph Moran also referred to Poe’s state of mind when touching Poe’s subject of visitations. He informed the suffering Edgar that he would soon be able to receive visits and enjoy the company of friends, to which Edgar supposedly responded that “The best thing his friend could do would be to blow his brains out with a pistol.” Moran Reported that Poe’s final words on October 7, 1849, were “Lord, Help my poor soul.”
Dr. Moran enjoyed the luxury of being one of the very few people to be able to attend to Poe. Unfortunately, his credibility regarding Edgar’s death has come into question since the doctor, in multiple opportunities, changed his story and details surround the poet’s death.
The doctor spoke of his frequent contacts with Poe’s aunt and mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, to let them know of his state and inform them of his death. This statement has come into dispute only after Maria Clemm contacted the doctor to update Edgar’s state. He answered back on November 9, a month after the poet’s death.
He also made claims as to which were Poe’s final words. Moran seemed to have added, “The arched heavens encompass me, and God has his decree legibly written upon the frontlets of every created human being, and demons incarnate, their goal will be the seething waves of blank despair.” The New York Herald responsible for the publishing of the story then added, “We cannot imagine Poe, even if delirious, constructing”
It is believed that these embellishments and frequent changes were Dr. Moran’s way of consoling the mourners who grieved the poet’s death.
Theorized Causes of Death
What adds gasoline to Edgar Allan Poe’s death fire is the fact that almost all medical records and documentation, which includes Poe’s death certificate, have been lost or destroyed, that is, if they ever existed in the first place. This gives ground to speculate as to what caused the poet’s death. Biographers seem to have addressed the issue, and many times, their conclusions contradict each other. Jeffrey Meyers, a noted biographer, has stated and asserted that the cause of death could be attributed to hypoglycemia. Other notable biographers have theorized diseases that range from syphilis to a murder plot theory.
The theory that suggests Poe attempted suicide is related to depression and gains weight since, in 1848, the poet had a near-death experience from a laudanum overdose. At the time was a readily available tranquilizer and suggested pain killer that could be easily purchased. However, it has always been argued that this event was not a suicide attempt in actuality but rather a miscalculation on dosage on behalf of Poe.
Modern psychological analysis of the language used by Edgard during his last week of life theorized that he was struggling with a major depressive episode. However, there is not enough evidence to prove that depression could have played a factor in his demise.
The renowned poet’s funeral was small and simple. The funeral took place on October 8 on a Monday 1849. Few were in attendance, Henry Herring Edgar’s uncle, Neilson Poe, his cousin among others.
Henry managed to provide a mahogany coffin, and Nelson made agreements to provide the hearse. Reverend W.T.D Clemm presided over the event. Also in attendance were Snodgrass, Zacchaeus Collins Lee.
The funeral lasted around 3 minutes; the Reverend felt no need for a sermon since the crowd attendance was so small. Sexton George W. Spencer recorded the weather during the event “It was a dark and gloomy day, not raining but just kind of raw and threatening.”
Edgar Allan Poe received a second, much larger funeral in Baltimore and attended by actors and artists. It was famously known for thespians playing tribute to Edgar’s works by performing them during the service by including them in their eulogies.
The Raven was buried unceremoniously in the back of Westminster Hall and Burying ground. Buried in the earth without a headstone towards the churchyard’s rear, close to his grandfather David Poe. The original headstone made of white marble was destroyed by a train derailment that crushed the headstone in a monument yard where it stood for safekeeping. Edgar’s burial ground was marked with a simple sandstone that stated “No.80” and no other determining feature. It did not mention his name.
Fortunately, the sad state of Edgars resting place did not go unnoticed. Upon visiting Poe’s resting place, the poet Paul Hamilton Hayne decided to write a newspaper article that showcased the forgotten and dismal condition and claimed that a more suitable site should be found for the renowned poet. Sara Sigourney Rice, a schoolteacher, seeing the resurgence in interest for Edgar, started to solicit money for a more appropriate resting site.
Sara even organized public performances to raise funds; Baltimore and the US came through; this included a sizable donation from philanthropist George William Childs. With a design by the architect George A Frederick and Colonel Hugh Sission’s construction, the new resting place was magnificent. A medallion with Poe’s likeness by Adalbert Vlock adorned the tombstone. The total amount of the project was 1,500.
Poe’s resting place moved on October 1, 1875, at the new location close to the church’s front. The memorial to the poet’s resting place was held on November 17. Though many famed writers were invited to the event, [the only key figure in attendance was Walt Witman. A poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson was read aloud at the funeral.
Fate that once denied him,
And envy that once decried him,
And malice that belied him.
Now, cenotaph his fame.
Virginia, Poe’s wife was moved to rest beside her husband in 1875. The cemetery where she originally rested was destroyed. Thanks to Wiliam Gill’s efforts, who managed to collect her remains after no kin presented to do so. Virginia was placed next to her husband on January 19, 1885, 10 years after his monument was erected.
On an amusing note, the original plot was then marked by a large white stone given to the family by Orin C. Painter. The stone was placed on the wrong property.
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”
-Edgar Allan Poe
Though famously known for his poems and shorts stories, he spans various genres like horror fiction, science fiction, adventure, and detective fiction, which he is credited with inventing.
Though these words were considered part of the Dark Romanticism movement, they are more akin to what is now considered transcendentalism.
He disagreed with the use of old allegory or didacticism. He thought works that were too obvious were not art. Stories should possess some form of undercurrent, an almost shallow form that an audience should have to piece together. He included elements of pseudo sciences like physiognomy and phrenology.
His works often dealt with death, the calling of the macabre, dealing with the signs of illness, decomposition, fears of the mind, and even fears of being buried alive. Haunting and reanimating the dead was another theme that was significantly featured in his more famous works, and he wrote the stories that featured these concepts with grace and mastery. He mastered Gothic fiction, and although he did not create it, he certainly is the foremost author of it.
- Poetry, 1824
- O, Tempora! O, Mores, 1825
- Tamerlane, July 1827
- Imitation July 1827
- Song, July 1827
- Imitation July 1827
- A Dream, July 1827
- The Lake, July 1827
- Spirits of the Dead, July 1827
- Dreams, July 1827
- Stanzas, July 1827
- The Happiest Day, September 15, 1827
- To Margaret 1827
- Alone 1829
- To Isaac Lea 1829
- Romance 1829
- Fairy-Land 1829
- To Science 1829
- An Acrostic 1829
- Elizabeth 1829
- To Helen 1829
- A Paean 1831
- The Sleeper 1831
- The City in the Sea 1831
- The Valley of Unrest 1831
- Israfel 1831
- Enigma February 2, 1833
- Fanny, May 18, 1833
- Serenade April 20, 1833
- To One in Paradise January, 1834
- Hymn April 1835
- To Elizabeth September 1835
- May Queen Ode, 1836
- Spiritual Song, 1836
- Latin Mymn, March 1836
- Bridal Ballad January 1837
- The Haunted Palace April 1839
- Silence- A sonnet January 4, 1840
- Lines on Joe Locke February 28, 1843
- Lones on Joe Locke February 28, 1843
- The Conqueror Worm January 1843
- Lenore February 1843
- A Campaign Song 1844
- Dream-Land June 1844
- Impromptu. To Kate Carol April 26, 1845
- Eulalie July 1845
- Epigram for Wall Street January 23, 1845
- The Raven February 1845
- The Devine Right of Kings October 1845
- A Valentine February 21, 1846
- Beloved Physician 1847
- Deep in Earth 1847
- To M.L.S March 13, 1847
- Ulalume December 1847
- Lines on Ale 1848
- To Marie Louise March 1848
- To Helen November 1848
- A dream withing a Dream March 31, 1849
- Eldorado April 21, 1849
- For Annie April 28, 1849
- To My Mother July 7, 1849
- The Bells November 1849
- Metzengerstein January 14, 1832
- The Duc de L’Omelette March 3, 1832
- A tale of Jerusalem June 9, 1832
- Loss of Breath November 10, 1832
- Bon-Bon December 1, 1832
- Found in a Bottle Oct 19, 1833
- The Assignation January, 1834
- Berenice, March 1835
- Morella, April 1835
- Lionizing, May 1835
- The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaal, June 1835
- King Pest September 1835
- Shadow- A Parable September 1835
- Four Beasts in One- The Homo- Cameleopard Marh 1836
- Mystification June 1937
- Silence- A fable 1838
- Ligeia September 1838
- How to Write a Blackwood Article November 1838
- The Devil in Belfry May 18, 1839
- The Man that Was used Up August 1839
- The Fall of the House of Usher September 1839
- William Wilson, October 1839
- The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion December 1839
- Why the Little Frenchman Wears his Hand in a Sling 1840
- The Business Man February 1840
- The Man of the Crowd December 1840
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue April 1841
- A Descent into the maelstrom May 1841
- The Island of the Fay June 1841
- The Colloquy of Monos and Una August 1841
- Never Bet the Devil Your Head September 1841
- Eleonora Fall 1841
- Three Sundays in a Week November 27, 1841
- The Oval Portrait April, 1842
- The Masque of Red Death, Octuber 1842
- The Mystery of Marie Roget November 1842, December 1842, February 1843 (serialized)
- The Pit and the Pendulum 1842- 1843
- The Tell-Tale Heart January 1843
- The Gold Bug June 1843
- The Black Cat August 19, 1843
- The Spectacles march 27, 1844
- A Tale of the Ragged Mountains April, 1844
- The Premature Burial July 31, 1844
- Mesmeric Revelation August, 1844
- The Oblong Box September, 1844
- The Angel of the Odd October 1844
- Thou Art the Man November, 1844
- The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq Devember, 1844
- The Purloined Letter 1844- 1845
- The Thousand and- Second Tale of Schherazade Feburary 1845
- Some Words with a mummy April, 1845
- The Imp of the Perverse July, 1845
- The system of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether November, 1845
- The Sphynx January, 1846
- The Domain of Arnheim March, 1847
- Mellonta Tauta February 1849
- Hop-Frog March 17, 1849
- Von Kemplene and his Discovery April 14, 1849
- X-ing a Paragraph May 12, 1849
- Landor’s Cottage June 9, 1849
List of Essays
- Maelzel’s Chess Player April 1836
- The Philosophy of Furniture May 1840
- Few Words on Secret Writing July 1841
- Morning on the Wissahiccon 1844
- The Balloon Hoax April 13 1844
- The Philosophy of Composition April 1846
- Eureka: A prose poem March 1848
- The Poetic Principal December 1848
- Politician this is a two-part play that is considered incomplete
― Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe started his career in earnest after the death of his brother. Unfortunately, Edgar chose a complicated time to begin. He aspired to be one of the few Americans to live off of writing alone.
He found himself negatively affected due to the lack of any existence of international Copywrite law.
While it was easy to assume that Edgars’ works were being copied and printed, it was the other way around, as American publishing companies would tend to publish unauthorized copies of various books from around the world and not pay for these. So, this practice not only affected Edgar but many aspiring authors as well.
The print industry also suffered from the event called the Panic of 1837 financial crisis of 1837, and wages went down, profits were lost, and prices plummeted. Fortunately, the print industry saw a boom in technology and a growing demand for periodicals.
The complicated industry saw Edgar resort to humiliating himself and plea for money, and seeking assistance from his relations. After a short attempt at poetry, Poe had to turn his hopes to longer prose, more like those found in print magazines at the time. He featured few stories in publications and even tried a drama by the name of Politian.
The short story “Ms. Found in a Bottle” caught John P. Kennedy’s attention, and it was thanks to his patronage that he was introduced to Thomas W. White and editor for the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond.
Then he became an assistant editor in August 1835, but his love for the drink soon found him fired from the position. Poe found himself back in Baltimore, where he married his cousin Virginia on September 22, 1835; it is unknown if they used the marriage license or just applied to it.
It is important to note that Edgar was a man of 26 and Virginia was 13, which has created much controversy and debate regarding the documents’ authenticity since it would require her parents’ consent even at that time. On may 16, 1836, Edgar Allen and Virginia held a wedding ceremony at their boarding house. They managed the feat thanks to a witness giving false testimony to Clemm’s age.
Poe then came back to White and, after managing to convince him regarding his sobriety, was reinstated to the publication and remained on the staff of the Southern Literary Messenger till January 1837. He managed to publish several poems, reviews, stories, and especially critiques. Poe had his novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket published and reviewed in 1838.
In 1839 Edgar started as the assistant editor of Burtons Gentleman’s Magazine, where he managed to publish articles, reviews, and stories further his reputation as an oppressive and vicious critic. In 1839 the collection of Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published in two volumes.
June 1840 saw the Edgars ambition flourish as he announced his plans to start his publishing firm named The Stylus. The publication began as the Penn since it would be printed in Philadelphia; regardless, he purchased space for his advert, and on June 6, 1849, the advert came to life in the Saturday Evening Post. Unfortunately, Edgar’s plan would never see life.
After a year at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, he found a new position as a writer and co-editor for the Graham Magazine. The publication became a great success and, in its last number for 1841, saw an editorial note which included a letter of celebration for the publication’s growth.
“Perhaps the editors of no magazine, either in America or in Europe, ever sat down, at the close of a year, to contemplate the progress of their work with more satisfaction than we do now. Our success has been unexampled, almost incredible. We may assert without fear of contradiction that no periodical ever witnessed the same increase during so short a period”.
January 1842 brought about the first signs of his wife Virginias’ illness of consumption, also known as tuberculosis. She was entertaining while singing at the piano. Edgar described the event as tearing or breaking of a blood vessel in her throat. The strain of his wife’s sickness and his state of mind saw Poe drink more.
His time at the Graham cut short he sought to find a new position within the government. He moved back to New York, where he worked at the Evening Mirror, only to move onto the Broadway Journal.
While at his post on the Broadway Journal, Poe and several other noted critics began a critical assault of the then-popular Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Not only did they openly criticize his works, but they often accused him of outright plagiarism. Longfellow, though aware of the constant barbs and critiques posted on the publication, never responded. To Edgar and other critics’ credit, Longfellow did fall out of favor in the literary community and sales.
On January 29, 1845, the Evening Mirror published the poem “The Raven,” considered one of Poe’s’ pinnacle literary writings. It quickly became a sensation among readers, unfortunately for Edgar saw a low payment of $9 for the published piece.
In 1846 The Broadway Journal closed down, Poe moved to New York, to the area now known as The Bronx. Edgar found himself living with Virginia in a small cottage; there, he became friends with the Jesuits at St. Joh’s Collage, but while living, their tragedy struck. Virginia died on January 30, 1847. Biographers and many alike speculate that the themes of “death of a beautiful woman” might have originated at his companion’s loss.
It is noted that Edgar Allan Poe began a dark descent. He became unstable after the loss of Virginia. Though heartbroken, he did try at love again and courted Sarah Helen Whitman. Unfortunately, the romantic attempt failed; it is suspected that Poe was too fond of the drink, which exacerbated his behavior. First, Sarah’s mother was against the relationship because of Edgar’s drinking and had a hand in ending the relationship. Poe tried once again with Sarah Elmira Royster, but unfortunately, he died soon after.
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allen Poe is considered one of the greatest writers in American literature. During his times, he was more feared than respected. A renowned critic, his sharp words, high standards, and temperament made him worried to authors and writers everywhere.
Critic James Russel Lowell mentioned him as the “most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America.” It was said Poe would write his critical prose with prussic acid and not ink as a joke.
Edgar’s sharp pen found purchase when targeting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, accusing the writer of poetry that felt preachy, derivative, and plagiarized. Edgards scuff with Longfellow correctly foresaw Longfellow’s decline. Edgar once said, “We grant him high qualities, but deny him the Future.”
Poe is also one of the few American writers of fiction that became more popular in Europe than in his home country of the US. He was particularly revered in France and owed much of his success to Charles Baudelaire’s translations; these became almost perfect interpretations of Poe’s work.
Edgar Allan is considered the father of all modern detective tales. His character C. Auguste Dupin became an interest and archetype used by the author Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle for his Sherlock Holmes and once said of Poe, “Each is a root from which a whole literature has developed. Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?”
Poe also influenced science fiction author Jules Verne who later produced a sequel to Edgar’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. The title of the sequel was Antarctic Mystery, aka The Sphynx of the Ice Fields. H.P Lovecraft was inspired by Poe’s tales of horror and even dedicated a section of his essay “Supernatural Horror Literature” to The Raven.
Famous film directors like Alfred Hitchcock, among others, have sung praises to the author when searching for inspiration regarding their own horror stories.
Though highly praised, Edgar Allen Poe was not immune to his fellow author’s criticism. Important contemporaries in literature could be just as cruel as Poe himself. William Butler Yeats was critical of Poe and described his work as “vulgar.” Ralph Waldo Emerson told The Raven and forgettable saying, “I see nothing in it.” and even nicknamed Poe as “The Jingle Man.” The famed author Aldous Huxley describes Poe’s work as trite as it “Falls into Vulgarity” by being the equivalent of diamond rings on every finger.
“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
While significant literary figures come and go into the popular zeitgeist, it can be argued that The Raven, aka Edgar Allen Poe, has been a cultural stamp ever since his death. The historical figure has been displayed not only as a character, but his stories have been adapted, used as sources of inspiration, and even re-imagined for comics, movies, tv shows, any kind of media where it can be applied. His incredible writing skill has been a staple in high school education, so generation upon generation has been witness to his genius.
Poe’s particular way of writing added to his physical appearance has driven many to speculate that his first-person narrations come from personal experience. While the man did not live a healthy lifestyle, his demeanor was far from his stories’ haunting figures. This did not stop artists and caricaturists from taking his appearance and using it for tales where the author himself deemed a spectral monster.
Edgar Alan Poe’s books have been publishing in multiple languages. His writing kept an uncounted number of children awake around the world. It also inspired many writers to come to the names span from King, Lovecraft, Gaiman to worldwide authors in foreign languages.
It would be a neigh impossible task to track down every single publication and media mention considering the vast number of languages his works have been printed in or stories where he is mentioned. However, it is worth a try.
Usually displayed as a haunting gothic ghost or a source of inspiration, Poe splashes the comics pages for a long time. Not only as a character himself but his stories filling the pages. His presence is featured in graphic novels that even include Superboy, Batman, The Sandman, and stories where he is the protagonist of the adventure on hand.
- In Funny Pages v.2 # 4 by Rafael Astarita
- Crown Comics # 1 Golfing Inc.
- Gang Busters # 49 Detective Comics # 417
- Enchanting Love # 2 Kirby Publishing 1949
- Superboy # 110 Dc Comics 1964
- The Atom # 12 DC Comics
- Zagor Italian Publishing
- Detective Comics #417
- Ghosts # 26 National Periodical Publications
- Arcade: The Comic Review # 7 The Print Mint
- Haunted # 31 Charlton Comics 1977
- Crazy Magazine# 73 Marvel Comics 1981
- Crazy Magazine #89 Marvel Comics
- Alien Encounters # 10 Eclipse Comics
- Jason Asala’s Poe v1. Cheese Comics
- Jason Asala’s Poe v2. Sirius Comics 1997
- Edgar Allan Poe’s The Bells Tome Press 1999
- Snake n Bacons Cartoon Cabaret Harper Collins, 2000
- The Phanton # 1282 Frew Publications 2001
- The dreaming # 56 Vertigo/Dc Comics 2001
- Poe Boom! Studios 2009
- The Mystery of Mary Rogers NBM, 2001
- In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe Vertigo Comics 2002
- Batman: Nevermore DC Comics 2003
- Death: At Death’s Door DC Comics 2003
- Scooby Doo# 80
- Ravenous Speakeasy Comics 2005
- Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poe webcomic and published by DrunkDuck 2007
- Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant Drawn & Quarterly 2011
- Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror Ahoy Comics 2018
Edgar’s stories serve as inspiration either directly lifted from his books’ pages or as an adaptation that fills the screens with his scary tales.
- Edgar Allan Poe 1909
- The Raven 1915
- The Raven 1935
- The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe 1942
- The Man with a Cloak 1951
- The Tell-Tale Heart 1960
- Castle of Blood 1964
- Torture Garden 1967
- Gas-s-s-s 1971
- Nella Stretta Morsa del Ragno 1971
- The Specter of Edgar Allan Poe 1974
- Tale of a Vampire 1992
- Monkey bone 2001
- Descendant 2003
- The Death of Poe 2006
- Twixt 2011
- Lives and Deaths of the Poets 2011
- The Raven 2012
The Poe Toaster Not Cometh 2011
- Poe, 1973
- Dickens of London 1976
- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch 1999, Episode LXXXI: The Phantom Menace
- Time Squad
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman
- The Venture Bros. Ep. Escape to the House of Mummies Part II 2006
- Masters of Horror 2007 ep. The Black Cat
- South Park ep. Goth Kids 3: awn of the Posers
- Witches of East End ep. Poe Way Out 2014
- Altered Carbon 2018 Netflix Show both seasons.
- The Simpson TV show has multiple references and episodes that either show the author, reference the author or adapt a story. The Tale Tell Heart, The Raven among others.