Edgar Allan Poe's early life was as strange and unhappy as some of his most famous fiction. When he was born in Boston in 1809, his parents were actors in traveling companies; his father died in 1810 and his mother in 1811. Edgar and his sister and brother were left penniless orphans, and Edgar was taken in by a Virginia merchant, John Allan, whose surname Edgar took as his middle name. Poe lived with the Allans in England from 1815 to 1820 and attended school there. His relationship with Allan was strained because Allan was rather heartless and unsympathetic to his wife and foster son....
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