Edgar Allan Poe Short Biography

Edgar Allan Poe Biography

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, United States, on January 19, 1809, and died on October 7, 1849, in Baltimore, United States.

Edgar Allan Poe

He was an American writer, critic, journalist, and poet. He is recognized as one of the fathers of the modern story, as well as the creator of the police genre. In addition, he was a great writer of both science fiction and horror works.

Edgar’s father died a year after he was born, and his mother, Elizabeth, would die a year later, in 1811, due to tuberculosis.

Since his older brother was already being cared for by his grandparents, Edgar and his sister Rosalie were adopted by two neighboring families in Richmond: the one by the Allan and the other by the Mackenciees.

John Allan, Edgar’s stepfather who would give him his last name, was a trader of Scottish origin.

This one was bad-tempered, and it is said that, in addition to not supporting Poe’s literary destiny, he never adopted it legally. On the contrary, his wife, Frances, put all his faith in Edgar Allan Poe and always filled him with affection.


After baptizing Edgar in 1812, the Allan family traveled to Scotland in 1815, where Poe studied in Irvine.

Later, the Allan moved to London in 1816, where Poe studied at one of Chelsea’s boarding schools, where he learned to write in Latin and speak French.

However, the family had traveled because John Allan had business in the old continent. As these were not successful, the Allan returned to Richmond in 1820. Here Edgar Allan Poe received education in the best schools.

When he was 16, Edgar fell in love with a neighbor of his, Sarah Elmira Royster. However, after enrolling at the University of Virginia, in Carlottesville, he stopped having contact with her and worsened the relationship with his stepfather, John Allan, for the debts he had due to gambling.

It is said that Poe resorted to the game as a way of survival because money was not enough for him. It is also said that in this university he had a reputation for being arrogant and pretending, on many occasions, to know more than he really knew.

Says Cortázar, who translated his work into Spanish, that in this institution Poe would relate for the first time to alcohol.


Finally, after a year of staying at the University of Virginia, Poe abandoned his studies in 1827 because of the anarchist and decadent climate that surrounded him.

“When a madman seems completely sensible, it’s time, in effect, to put the straitjacket on him.” Edgar Allan Poe

In the middle of that same year, Poe traveled to Norfolk and then to Boston. When he discovered after several weeks that he did not have the resources to live properly, he enlisted in the army, lying about his name and his age.

While he was taken along with his regiment to Charleston and was, in turn, promoted to artificer, his first book, Tamerlane and other poems, circulated in very few hands in Boston.

After two years of service, which had to be five, and being Poe sergeant major of artillery, sought the help of his stepfather to graduate and finish faster military service.

John Allan, affected by the death of his wife Frances, agreed to help him by enrolling him in the West Point Academy, although over time he had several discussions with his stepson.

Because of them, Poe drastically changed his behavior and was tried in a court-martial for disobedience and leaving the service in 1831.

New York

That same year he left for New York and published Poems with the help of his former colleagues at the Academy. And later he moved to his aunt’s house, where his brother Henry died that same year, in part, because of alcoholism.

Here, Poe focuses on writing stories and starting a journalistic career. In 1833, he earns $ 50 in a prize for his story Manuscript found in a bottle.

This, in turn, is read by John P. Kennedy, who positions him as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger.

Although he would later be discovered in a drunken state several times during his post and be fired. Added to this, in 1834 his stepfather, John Allan, died without leaving any inheritance.

Despite this, Poe married in 1835 with his cousin Virginia Eliza Clemm, who was thirteen years old at the time and managed to return to Southern Literary Messenger swearing to behave better. Which he did until 1837 when he voluntarily retired.

The novel

In 1838 he published his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, although with little success. The following year he became editor in chief of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and published Cuentos de lo grotesco y arabesco.

In 1840 he started working for Graham’s Magazine and published in it some of his most representative stories, such as The Crimes of Morgue Street and The Golden Beetle.

This greatly improved his lifestyle, although from 1842 his wife Virginia began to present symptoms of tuberculosis, and this led Poe to resort to drinking more frequently.

After leaving Graham’s Magazine, and trying several positions, he managed to become the owner of the Broadway Journal. In 1845, he published his most famous poem, El Cuervo, for which he would be recognized throughout the country, but of which he would have received only $ 9 for his publication.

Then he held with the poet Frances Sargent Osgood a relationship that Virginia herself consented to. This raised too much controversy between the social circle of both, so they had to stop seeing with time.


In 1847 Virginia died of tuberculosis, and Poe’s behavior and mood were clearly affected, to the point of performing several erratic actions and inducing him to alcoholism.

Finally, Poe returned to Richmond, where he met his love of youth, Sarah Elmira Royster.
Both agreed to marry on October 17, 1849.

But a delirious Edgar Allan Poe was found in the streets of Baltimore on October 3, 1849, which would be transferred to Washington College Hospital, where he would die on October 7 of that year. same year.

 “Death takes courage and then invites you to a drink.” Edgar Allan Poe

Works by Edgar Allan Poe


  1. Metzengerstein
  2. Manuscript found in a bottle (MS. Found in a Bottle), 1833
  3. The Plague King (King Pest), 1835
  4. Berenice, 1835
  5. Ligeia, 1838
  6. The Fall of the Usher House (The Fall of the House of Usher), 1839
  7. The Man of the Crowd (The Man of the Crowd), 1840
  8. A descent to Maelström (A Descent into the Maelström), 1841
  9. The crimes of Morgue Street (The Murders in the Rue Morgue), 1841
  10. The mask of the Red Death (The Masque of the Red Death), 1842
  11. The well and the pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum), 1842
  12. The oval portrait (The Oval Portrait), 1842
  13. The gold beetle (The Gold Bug), 1843
  14. The mystery of Marie Roget (The Mystery of Marie Roget), 1843
  15. The black cat (The Black Cat), 1843
  16. The telltale heart (The Tell-Tale Heart), 1843
  17. The oblong box (The Oblong Box), 1844
  18. The stolen letter (The Purloined Letter), 1844
  19. The premature burial (The Premature Burial), 1844
  20. The demon of the perversity (The Imp of the Perverse), 1845
  21. The truth about the case of Mr. Valdemar (The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar), 1845
  22. The system of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether (The system of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether) 1845
  23. The barrel of amontillado (The Cask of Amontillado), 1846
  24. Hop-Frog, 1849


  1. Tamerlane (Tamerlane) (1827)
  2. A … (A …) (1827)
  3. Dreams (Dreams) (1827)
  4. Spirits of the Dead (Spirit of the Dead) (1827)
  5. Star of the Evening (Evening Star) (1827)
  6. A Dream (A Dream) (1827)
  7. The happiest day, the happiest hour (The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour) (1827)
  8. The lake: A … (The Lake: To …) (1827)
  9. Al Aaraaf (Al Aaraaf) (1829)
  10. Sonnet to Science (Sonnet To Science) (1829)
  11. Solo (Alone) (1829)
  12. To Elena (To Helen) (1831)
  13. The city in the sea (The City in the Sea) (1831)
  14. The sleeper (The Sleeper) (1831)
  15. The valley of the restlessness (The Valley of Unrest) (1831)
  16. Israfel (Israfel) (1831)
  17. The Coliseum (The Coliseum) (1833)
  18. Someone in Paradise (To Someone in Paradise) (1834)
  19. Anthem (Hymn) (1835)
  20. Sonnet to Zante (Sonnet to Zante) (1837)
  21. Bridal Ballad to … (Bridal Ballad to …) (1837)
  22. The enchanted palace (The Haunted Palace) (1839)
  23. Sonnet of Silence (Sonnet-Silence) (1840)
  24. Lenore (Lenore) (1843)
  25. Land of dreams (Dream Land) (1844)
  26. The Crow (The Raven) (1845)
  27. Eulalie, a song (Eulalie, A Song) (1845)
  28. Ulalume (1847)
  29. A dream in a dream (A Dream Within a Dream) (1849)
  30. Annabel Lee (1849)
  31. The bells (The Bells) (1849)
  32. To my mother (To My Mother) (1849)


The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838)

Essay and criticism

  1. Philosophy of composition (The Philosophy of Composition) (1846)
  2. The poetic principle (The Poetic Principle) (1848)
  3. Eureka (1848)
  4. Charles Dickens
  5. Longfellow
  6. Hawthorne
  7. Cryptography
  8. Arabia stony
  9. Marginalia (1844-49)

Today, 200 years after his birth, Poe’s legacy still burns bright. His was a brave imagination, unafraid to journey into the darker side of human motivation … to illuminate the truth that lies beyond

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