Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Edgar Allen Poe

Today I want to talk to you about Edgar Allan Poe. 

To say Poe’s works have influenced literature is like saying water is wet. He and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. He has influenced many other great writers, such as H.P Lovecraft and Stephen King to name drop just two. His impact on the horror genre (as well as Sci-Fi and Detective) cannot be overstated. 

I could probably write an entire blog series on this man, and if you would like me to do so then by all means speak up. However, today all I am going to do is a very brief summary of his life, and works. 

Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on 19 January 1809 and was the first well-known American writers to earn a living through writing alone. He was a writer, poet, editor, and a literary critic. 

Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. Sadly, his father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Poe was raised by John and Frances Allan, though his relationship with them was not without its problems. 

Poe attended university, though due to financial reasons he left after one year and joined the army. However, he was not content in the military life and shortly after the death of his brother he left to be a full-time writer. 

However, due to shitty copyright laws Poe struggled as a writer, this was because American publishers often reproduced unauthorized copies of British works rather than paying for new work by Americans.

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

That is not to say he had no success at all, he spent several years working for literary journals and periodicals 

Her received a prize in October 1833 from the Baltimore Saturday Visiter for his short story “MS. Found in a Bottle”. This brought Poe to the attention of other writers and editors and landed him a job as assistant editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. 

He married his 13-year-old cousin in 1836 (he was 26 at the time and they lied about her age in order to marry), sadly, she died of tuberculosis in 1847. It is said that her passing influenced some of his writing. 

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published in 1838 and Poe became the assistant editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine the following year. He later took a position as a as writer and co-editor at Graham’s Magazine

In January 1845, he published his poem “The Raven” which made him a household name. He planned for years to produce his own journal The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), but before it could be produced, he died. The cause of his death has never been unearthed. 

On the day before his death he was found in great distress and delouse on the streets, he was taken to hospital and passed away. All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate. 

Poe is buried in Baltimore, Maryland.

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