Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849

Alternative names
Birth 1809-01-19
Death 1849-10-07

Biographical notes:

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American author, poet, and critic.writing.

In 1834 Poe married his cousin Virginia, who was not quite fourteen at the time, and began seriously seeking a means of supporting "his family." In the spring of 1835, the family moved back to Richmond where Poe took a position with the Southern Literary Messenger . Poe used the opportunity to publish several of his poems and short tales in the paper, but he also began developing his reputation as a pugnacious critic by contributing scathing reviews of popular contemporary authors. In 1837 Poe left his position as editor of the Messenger by mutual agreement with the owner after a number of disagreements over Poe's vicious articles.

Poe spent the rest of his life attempting to establish himself as a creditable force on the American literary scene. He tried to start his own literary paper on several occasions, but when that failed he continued to work for other papers in the capacity of critic and editor, most notably Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in Philadelphia (1839-1840) and The Broadway Journal in New York (1845). Poe's desire to be in charge, his vituperative critical attacks on people he disliked or disagreed with, coupled with an ongoing problem with alcohol made it difficult for him to maintain a long-term working relationship with magazine owners and editors.

In 1847 Virginia Poe died after a long battle with tuberculosis. Poe was devastated. Suffering ill-health himself, and beaten down after his long battle with poverty, he continued to write and lecture, but his mental state seemed to decline. He was found unconscious on a street in Baltimore in the fall of 1849 and he died on October 7. A brief obituary in the Baltimore Clipper reported that he died of "congestion of the brain." It has been assumed by most scholars that alcoholism killed Poe, but a new theory which is gaining credence speculates that Poe actually died of rabies.


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Periodicals--Publishing
  • Horror tales, American
  • American literature--19th century
  • Books--Pirated editions
  • Fiction--19th century
  • Wit and humor
  • Authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
  • Scholarly periodicals
  • Mystery and detective stories
  • Poetics
  • American literature
  • American poetry--19th century
  • Phrenology
  • Poetry, Modern--19th century
  • Horror--Poetry
  • Versification
  • Literary patrons--19th century
  • Fantasy poetry, American
  • Book Clubs (Discussion Groups)
  • Poets, American
  • Book reviewing
  • Ciegos--Libros y lectura
  • Periodicals--history
  • Group reading
  • Short stories
  • American drama--Translations into Indonesian
  • Copyright
  • American poetry
  • Literature--Societies, etc.--19th century


  • Soldiers
  • Poets
  • Critic
  • Authors


  • Boston, MA, US
  • United States, 00, US
  • Baltimore, MD, US