Who is Edgar Allan Poe?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is also considered the father of the modern detective-fiction genre and an early writer in the emerging field of what would become known as science fiction. Best known as a short story writer, he was also an acclaimed literary critic, and his poetry is among the finest in American literature. Born in Boston, Poe was brought up by his uncle, John Allan in Richmond. He attended the University of Virginia and, later, West Point. In 1835, he married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clem, whose early death inspired his famous poem, "Annabel Lee." He spent most of his life in Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore, where he died. His death has always been a topic of literary speculation, ranging from an overdose of alcohol or drugs to heart or lung disease.

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Edgar Allan Poe is often considered to be the father of the horror or thriller genre.  He wrote extremely suspenseful and dark stories.  Poe is known for creating eerie and macabre, yet intelligent, literature.  Symbolism and mood played major roles in his writings; his use of imagery was powerful and was often aided by his talented use of word choice and description to add to readers' experience. 

Poe lived a troubled life.  The loss of loved ones, including his parents (at an early age) and wife, as well as problems with gambling, drinking, and other issues is assumed to have greatly influenced Poe's writing style and focus.  He lived a dark life and wrote dark pieces. 

Eventually, Poe was found in a delirious condition on the street; he died shortly after.  Modern medical professionals have suggested that he may have died of rabies.  At any rate, he left behind some of the world's best known short stories (and poems), as well as great literary legacy.  Some of his best known works are "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Black Cat, and "The Masque of the Red Death."

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Edgar Allan Poe is an American author of the 19th century credited with many contributions to the field of American literature.

Many find him as the father of mystery, the original gothic writer, or the master of suspense. He wrote both prose and poetry. His works often are filled with great symbols and may contain significant autobiographical information.

His relationship to his family is broken, with alcoholism reigning and destroying relationships. Many question his cause of death. You can read about him here on enotes.

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